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Thanks to the progress made in chemical technology (particularly in the methodologies of stereoselective syntheses and analyses) along with regulatory measures, the number of new chiral drugs registered in the form of pure enantiomers has increased over the past decade. In addition, the pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties of the individual enantiomers of already-introduced racemic drugs are being re-examined. The use of the pure enantiomer of a drug that has been used to date in the form of a racemate is called a "chiral switch". A re-examination of the properties of the pure enantiomers of racemates has taken place for local anesthetics, which represent a group of drugs which have long been used. Differences in (R) and (S)-enantiomers were found in terms of pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic activity as well as in toxicity. Levobupivacaine and robivacaine were introduced into practice as pure (S)-(-)-enantiomers, exhibiting more favorable properties than their (R)-(+)-stereoisomers or racemates. This overview focuses on the influence of chirality on the pharmacological and toxicological activity of local anesthetics as well as on individual HPLC and capillary electrophoresis (CE) methods used for enantioseparation and the pharmacokinetic study of individual local anesthetics with a chiral center.


Ružena Čižmáriková, Jozef Čižmárik, Jindra Valentová, Ladislav Habala, Mário Markuliak. Chiral Aspects of Local Anesthetics. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Jun 12;25(12)

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PMID: 32545678

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