Prevention of Ethanol Withdrawal Seizures in Mice by Local Anesthetics and Dextro-Propranolol

  • Gerhard Freund
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 85B)


It has been previously reported from this laboratory that the systemic administration of nonsedative doses of the local anesthetic lidocaine (Xylocaine®; Astra Pharmaceutical Products, Inc., Worcester, Mass.) prevents ethanol withdrawal seizures in mice (Freund, 1973b). Lidocaine, however, is rapidly metabolized and is not effective orally as a cardiac antiarrhythmic agent. The β-adrenergic blocking drug d-,l-propranolol (Inderal®; Ayerst Laboratories, New York, N.Y.), a racemic mixture containing equal proportions of dextro- (d-) and levo- (l-) propranolol, has a local anesthetic potency approximately equal to lidocaine (Morales-Aguilera and Williams, 1965). In contrast to lidocaine, however, propranolol is orally absorbable and has a much longer duration of action. Both the d- and the l- optical isomers of propranolol have the same local anesthetic potency, but d-propranolol has less than 1/100 the β-adrenergic blocking potency of the l- form (Barrett and Cullum, 1968). Therefore, it appears theoretically possible to take advantage of the long-lasting local anesthetic effect and oral absorbability of d-propranolol with its nearly absent β-adrenergic blocking properties.


Optical Isomer Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Withdrawal Sign Ethanol Withdrawal Drinking Tube 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Freund
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Hospital and Departments of Medicine and Neurosciences, College of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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