Local Anesthetics Mnemonic

All Local anesthetics contain suffix “-caine”. Local Anesthetics (LA) can be classified as: Esters and Amides.

Esters vs Amides

A mnemonic device is that the names of amides contain 2 “i”s compared with only 1 “i” seen in esters.

Remember: One-eyed ester or Amide word has an “i” in it and hence an extra “i”.

amide and ester

Amides – Contains 2 “i”

Properties:

  1. Longer acting than esters
  2. Metabolized by liver enzymes
  3. Excreted in urine

Medicines:

  1. Lignocaine
  2. Lidocaine (Xylocaine)
  3. Prilocaine
  4. Mepivacaine
  5. Bupivacaine (Marcaine/Sensoricaine)
  6. Etidocaine
  7. Ropivacaine
  8. Dibucaine
  9. Articaine
  10. Trimecaine
  11. Dexivacaine
  12. Butanilacaine

Exceptions:

Amides with only single “i” are –

  1. Oxetacaine
  2. Tolycaine
  3. Pyrrocaine
  4. Rodocaine

Amide without suffix “caine” – Diperodon

Esters – Contains single “i”

Properties:

  • Short acting
  • Metabolized in plasma and tissue fluids
  • Excreted in urine
  • More propensity for allergic reactions

Medicines:

  1. Amethocaine
  2. Benzocaine
  3. Chlorprocaine
  4. Procaine (Novocaine)
  5. Cocaine
  6. Hexylcaine
  7. Proparacaine
  8. Tetracaine

Exceptions:

Ester with double “i” –

  1. Primacaine
  2. Piperocaine
  3. Dimethocaine

Ester without suffix “-caine” –

  1. Butamben
  2. Butethamine
  3. Naepaine

Rate of systemic absorption of Local Anesthetics

Mnemonic: In descending order – BICEPS

1. Blood (Intravenous)

2. Bronchial (Tracheal)

3. Intercostal

4. Caudal

5. paraCervical

6. Epidural

7. Plexus (Brachial plexus)

8. Sacral

9. Subcutaenous

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