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Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2002 Dec;40(6):491-6.

Safety and efficacy of levobupivacaine for postoperative pain relief after the surgical removal of impacted third molars: a comparison with lignocaine and adrenaline.

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Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, GKT Dental Institute, King's College Dental Hospital, Caldecot Road, London SE5 9RW, UK.


In a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled single-centre study we compared the efficacy and safety of 0.75% levobupivacaine (without vasoconstrictor) with 2% lignocaine (with adrenaline 1:80,000) and with placebo for postoperative pain relief in 93 patients having day surgery under general anaesthesia for the removal of impacted mandibular third molars. Premedication and preoperative analgesics were not prescribed, although a short-acting opioid analgesic agent was allowed if required during the anaesthetic procedure. Patients were asked to keep a diary card for 2 days after discharge from hospital. The primary endpoint was the number of patients who requested analgesia within 2 h of completion of the operation. In total, 16 (53%) of patients given levobupivacaine requested analgesia compared with 22 (71%) given lignocaine and 23 (72%) given placebo. Patients given levobupivacaine had lower maximum visual analogue pain scores (VAS) and took longer to request rescue medication (P=0.045 compared with lignocaine). Fewer patients after levobupivacaine n=20 (7%) than after lignocaine n=7 (23%) or placebo n=5 (16%) experienced adverse events. Levobupivacaine seems to be a suitable alternative local anaesthetic to lignocaine with adrenaline for pain control after oral operations.

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