PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Local anesthetics are not only used as drugs to block the sodium channel to provide analgesia and antiarrhythmic action. The purpose of this review is to highlight the new indications and limitations of this class of drugs.
RECENT FINDINGS: Recent research has focused on the use of intravenous local anesthetics to improve bowel function after surgery or trauma, to protect the central nervous system, to find new clues about local anesthetic effects in chronic neuropathic pain, and to investigate the long-term effect of anesthesia/analgesia provided by local anesthetics on cancer recurrence. Recent facts dealing with myotoxicity and chondrotoxicity are presented.
SUMMARY: There is growing evidence that local anesthetics have a broad spectrum of indications in addition to analgesia and antiarrhythmic effect. Most of them are still insufficiently known and investigated. These new indications will no doubt be intensively studied in the coming years.