Micro and nanosystems for delivering local anesthetics
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Introduction: One of the most common strategies for pain control during and after surgical procedures is the use of local anesthetics. Prolonged analgesia can be safely achieved with drug delivery systems suitably chosen for each local anesthetic agent.Areas covered: This review considers drug delivery formulations of local anesthetics designed to prolong the anesthetic effect and decrease toxicity. The topics comprise the main drug delivery carrier systems (liposomes, biopolymers, and cyclodextrins) for infiltrative administration of local anesthetics. A chronological review of the literature is presented, including details of formulations as well as the advantages and pitfalls of each carrier system. The review also highlights pharmacokinetic data on such formulations, and gives an overview of the clinical studies published so far concerning pain control in medicine and dentistry.Expert opinion: The design of novel drug delivery systems for local anesthetics must focus on how to achieve higher uploads of the anesthetic into the carrier, and how to sustain its release. This comprehensive review should be useful to provide the reader with the current state-of-art regarding drug delivery formulations for local anesthetics and their possible clinical applications.