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Home / Drugs / Starting with L / Levobupivacaine

Levobupivacaine is an amino-amide local anaesthetic drug belonging to the family of n-alkylsubstituted pipecoloxylidide. It is the S-enantiomer of bupivacaine. Levobupivacaine hydrochloride is commonly marketed by AstraZeneca under the trade name Chirocaine. Compared to bupivacaine, levobupivacaine is associated with less vasodilation and has a longer duration of action. It is approximately 13 per cent less potent (by molarity) than racemic bupivacaine.Levobupivacaine is indicated for local anaesthesia including infiltration, nerve block, ophthalmic, epidural and intrathecal anaesthesia in adults; and infiltration analgesia in children. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are rare when it is administered correctly. Most ADRs relate to administration technique (resulting in systemic exposure) or pharmacological effects of anesthesia, however allergic reactions can rarely occur. [Wikipedia]
Anesthetics, Local
ManufacturersPurdue pharma lp
PackagersBen Venue Laboratories Inc.
Purdue Pharma LP
SynonymsLevobupivacaine hydrochloride


For the production of local or regional anesthesia for surgery and obstetrics, and for post-operative pain management


Levobupivacaine, a local anesthetic agent, is indicated for the production of local or regional anesthesia or analgesia for surgery, for oral surgery procedures, for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and for obstetrical procedures.

mechanism of action

Local anesthetics such as Levobupivacaine block the generation and the conduction of nerve impulses, presumably by increasing the threshold for electrical excitation in the nerve, by slowing the propagation of the nerve impulse, and by reducing the rate of rise of the action potential. In general, the progression of anesthesia is related to the diameter, myelination and conduction velocity of affected nerve fibers. Specifically, the drug binds to the intracellular portion of sodium channels and blocks sodium influx into nerve cells, which prevents depolarization.


LD50: 5.1mg/kg in rabbit, intravenous; 18mg/kg in rabbit, oral; 207mg/kg in rabbit, parenteral; 63mg/kg in rat, subcutaneous (Archives Internationales de Pharmacodynamie et de Therapie. Vol. 200, Pg. 359, 1972.) Levobupivacaine appears to cause less myocardial depression than both bupivacaine and ropivacaine, despite being in higher concentrations.


Levobupivacaine is extensively metabolized with no unchanged levobupivacaine detected in urine or feces. In vitro studies using [14 C] levobupivacaine showed that CYP3A4 isoform and CYP1A2 isoform mediate the metabolism of levobupivacaine to desbutyl levobupivacaine and 3-hydroxy levobupivacaine, respectively. In vivo, the 3-hydroxy levobupivacaine appears to undergo further transformation to glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. Metabolic inversion of levobupivacaine to R(+)-bupivacaine was not evident both in vitro and in vivo.


The plasma concentration of levobupivacaine following therapeutic administration depends on dose and also on route of administration, because absorption from the site of administration is affected by the vascularity of the tissue. Peak levels in blood were reached approximately 30 minutes after epidural administration, and doses up to 150 mg resulted in mean Cmax levels of up to 1.2 µg/mL.

half life

3.3 hours

route of elimination

Following intravenous administration, recovery of the radiolabelled dose of levobupivacaine was essentially quantitative with a mean total of about 95% being recovered in urine and feces in 48 hours. Of this 95%, about 71% was in urine while 24% was in feces.