New local anesthetics. Are they worth the cost?

Anesthesiol Clin North Am. 2003 Mar;21(1):19-38. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8537(02)00032-9.


Epidural analgesia that uses dilute concentrations of bupivacaine with fentanyl or sufentanil provides excellent analgesia, good sensory-motor discrimination, and minimal toxicity and is inexpensive. The new local anesthetic agents, ropivacaine and levobupivacaine, offer potential improvements in the risk of toxicity when administered in large doses but probably no important clinical difference when used in dilute concentrations for labor analgesia. After accounting for the potency difference, ropivacaine offers little or no motor-sparing advantage over bupivacaine. Currently, epidural anesthesia with concentrated bupivacaine is rarely used for cesarean section, so there is little indication for the newer anesthetic agents in this setting either. The authors believe that large difference in cost cannot be justified on the basis of currently available data.

MeSH terms

  • Amides / adverse effects
  • Amides / economics
  • Analgesia, Epidural*
  • Analgesia, Obstetrical*
  • Anesthetics, Local* / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Local* / economics
  • Animals
  • Bupivacaine / adverse effects
  • Bupivacaine / analogs & derivatives
  • Bupivacaine / economics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nerve Block
  • Pregnancy
  • Ropivacaine


  • Amides
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Ropivacaine
  • Bupivacaine