Skip to main content

New Drugs for Epidural Analgesia

Buy Article:

$63.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


In recent years there has been a wide use of the epidural technique not only during surgery to provide anesthesia and analgesia, but also for obstetric and trauma as well as acute, chronic and cancer pain states. Nowadays there is an increase in the number of the epidural drugs. Local anesthetics and opioids are still the pharmacological agents more widely used epidurally, nevertheless other drugs from different pharmacological classes are administered as adjuvant to local anesthetics and opioids or are in various early stages of investigation. Regarding to local anesthetics, the most recent literature focuses on the new enantiomers, ropivacaine and levobupivacaine, the efficacy of which is similar to that of bupivacaine with a reduced risk of cardiotoxicity. About opioids, the other class of drugs mainly used, the debate, in the last years, concerned the physicochemical properties of morphine and of the more recent lipophilic agents, fentanyl and sufentanil, in order to explain the main differences in efficacy and safety. Other categories of agents have been investigated for epidural administration, such as α2-adrenergic agonists clonidine and dexmedetomidine. They are being used increasingly as adjuvants to local anesthetics and opioids. Ketamine and neostigmine, the more recent studied drugs for epidural use, are still under investigation and are not part of routine clinical practice.

Keywords: Epidural analgesia; clonidine; dexmedetomidine; ketamine; local anesthetics; neostigmine; opioids

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more