Tachyphylaxis and Local Anesthetics

  • D. B. Scott
Conference paper
Part of the Anaesthesiologie und Intensivmedizin / Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine book series (A+I, volume 176)


Tachyphylaxis is frequently associated with long, continued local anesthesia [1]. It is manifested clinically as a reduction in the spread and intensity of nerve blockade, becoming with observable with repeated injections. However, studies of single nerves or nerve fibers in vitro do not show any such effect. Nerve block obtained with a local anesthetic can be reversed and reinstituted almost indefinitely by washing out and rebathing the preparation with drug, with no apparent evidence of resistance to the action of the drug. Therefore, when increasing resistance to repeated injections occurs clinically, it may be profitable to seek other causes for what may be termed “pseudotachyphylaxis”.


Local Anesthetic Epidural Analgesia Epidural Catheter Epidural Space Epidural Block 
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  1. 1.
    Bromage PR (1978) Epid ural Analgesia. Saunders, Philadelphia, p 100.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Buckley FP, Littlewood DG, Covino BG, Scott DB (1978) Effects of adrenaline and the concentration on extradural block with etidocaine. Br J Anaesth 50:171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tucker GT, Cooper S, Littlewood D, Buckley FP, Covino BG, Scott DB (1977) Observed and predicted accumulation of local anaesthetic agents during continuous extradural analgesia. Br J Anaesth 49:237.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

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  • D. B. Scott

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