Author(s): Taylor R, Eyres R, Chalkiadis GA, Austin S
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Levobupivacaine is the S(-)-enantiomer of racemic bupivacaine. Evidence suggests that it is less cardiotoxic than racemic bupivacaine and the R(+)-enantiomer, dexbupivacaine, while retaining similar local anaesthetic properties and potency to racemic bupivacaine. METHODS: This was an open study designed to assess the efficacy and safety of 0.25\% levobupivacaine administered as a caudal injection at a dose of 2 mg.kg(-1) to 49 paediatric patients aged less than 2 years old undergoing circumcision (group 1), or hernia repair or orchidopexy (group 2). RESULTS: Adequate analgesia (an increase of <20\% in pulse or respiratory rate compared with baseline and an absence of gross movement on application of surgical stimulus) was achieved in 43/48 patients evaluable for efficacy (89.6\%). All 22 patients in the circumcision group had adequate analgesia, and two of these patients did not require additional analgesia. The mean time to the use of additional analgesia was 7.3 h. Only one event (a mild rash) was considered possibly related to study medication. CONCLUSIONS: Levobupivacaine is a promising new local anaesthetic agent for pain management in paediatric patients and appears to offer similar anaesthetic efficacy to racemic bupivacaine with a potentially improved tolerability profile.
This article was published in Paediatr Anaesth
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research