Articaine: a review of its use for local and regional anesthesia

Local Reg Anesth. 2012;5:23-33. doi: 10.2147/LRA.S16682. Epub 2012 Jun 5.


Articaine is an intermediate-potency, short-acting amide local anesthetic with a fast metabolism due to an ester group in its structure. It is effective with local infiltration or peripheral nerve block in dentistry, when administered as a spinal, epidural, ocular, or regional nerve block, or when injected intravenously for regional anesthesia. In comparative trials, its clinical effects were not generally significantly different from those of other short-acting local anesthetics like lidocaine, prilocaine, and chloroprocaine, and there is no conclusive evidence demonstrating above-average neurotoxicity. Articaine proved to be suitable and safe for procedures requiring a short duration of action in which a fast onset of anesthesia is desired, eg, dental procedures and ambulatory spinal anesthesia, in normal and in special populations.

Keywords: articaine; neurotoxicity; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; regional anesthesia; therapeutic use; tolerability.