We have studied the effects of three different types of calcium channel blockers (verapamil, diltiazem, and nicardipine) on local lignocaine sensory block. The standardized tail flick test was used to measure the duration and degree of lignocaine-induced conduction block in rats. After obtaining baseline tail flick latencies (mean 3.2 s), two 100-μl doses of 0.3% lignocaine alone, a combination of verapamil 25, 100 or 200 μg, diltiazem 25, 100 or 200 μg, or nicardipine 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 μg, and a large dose of calcium channel blockers (verapamil 200 μg, diltiazem 200 μg or nicardipine 2.0 μg) were injected on opposite sites of the tail base and the tail flick test was performed every 5 min for 45 min. A large dose of the calcium channel blockers showed no prolongation of tail flick latencies. Administration of 0.3% lignocaine alone produced a significant increase in tail flick thresholds and the peak effect of the percentage maximum possible effect (%MPE) was demonstrated at 5 min after drug injection (mean %MPE 28.8%; P < 0.01 vs baseline). Co-administration of 0.3% lignocaine and three doses of verapamil produced significant increases in area under the curve (AUC) in a dose-dependent fashion. Mean AUC values for 0.3% lignocaine alone and a combination of verapamil 25, 100 or 200 μg were 217.5, 502.5, 529.1 and 1600.3, respectively. Almost similar patterns of augmentation in AUC values were demonstrated after addition of different doses of diltiazem or nicardipine to 0.3% lignocaine. We conclude that the use of mixtures of local anaesthetic and calcium channel blocker potentiated lignocaine sensory block at the level of the peripheral nerves.
- Anaesthetics local, lignocaine
- Calcium channel block, diltiazem
- Calcium channel block, nicardipine
- Calcium channel block, verapamil