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What is Ropivacaine?

By Laura Evans
Updated May 17, 2024
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Ropivacaine is a local anesthetic that numbs a part of the body while allowing the patient to remain awake during a surgical or medical procedure. The patient should still be able to feel pressure and touch, although the patient will not feel pain. Patients should only be administered ropivacaine by a trained medical professional in a hospital or medical clinic setting.

Before surgery is scheduled, a physician will typically ask a series of questions of a patient. This process is designed to help prevent reactions to the anesthetic and other drugs that may be administered during or after a procedure. When narrowing the possible anesthetics down to ropivacaine, the pertinent questions will include whether the patient has ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other type of anesthetic.

The patient generally should let the doctor know what prescription drugs he or she is taking. In addition, the patient should mention any herbal supplements that he or she is using. Herbs can have negative side effects when combined with other herbs or drugs. Of particular concern with ropivacaine is St. Johns wort. If any of the drugs or herbs that the patient is taking may cause a reaction in combination with the anesthetic, the doctor may suggest changing the dosages of the medications or use a different type of anesthetic.

It also can be important to let the physician know of any existing medical conditions. Ropivacaine may not be the anesthetic of choice if the patient has heart disease, liver disease, or kidney disease. In addition, the doctor should know if the patient has high blood pressure.

Using any drug carries the possibility of experiencing side effects, of which ropivacaine is no exception. The patient usually should let the physician know immediately if he or she is not feeling right during and after surgery. Possible side effects include headache, fever, dizziness, and pain in the back or legs. Other possible side effects are problems with urination, nervousness, tremors, or vomiting. In addition, the patient’s heart beat may be too fast or too slow.

Ropivacaine is administered through injection. In some cases, it may take more than one injection for it to be effective. The drug may also be transferred into the body through a catheter. If a patient has any concerns at all about ropivacaine, the concerns should be discussed thoroughly with the physician before surgery.

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