Drugs in anesthesia: Edited by Klaus T. OlkkolaUpdate on local anestheticsBorgeat, Alain; Aguirre, José Author Information Department of Anesthesiology, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland Correspondence to Professor Dr Alain Borgeat, Department of Anesthesiology, Balgrist University Hospital, Forchstrasse 340, CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland Tel: +41 44 386 11 11; fax: +41 44 386 11 09; e-mail: [email protected].ch Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: August 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 466-471 doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e328339eef2 Buy Metrics Abstract 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. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.