Ropivacaine is an amide local anaesthetic produced in three concentrations (2, 7.5 and 10 mg/ml). It is unique in that membrane separation synthesis yields an enantiomerically homogeneous solution that is more than 99% pure S-(-) isomer.
Ropivacaine is highly plasma protein binding (94%) and the lipid solubility lies somewhere between that of lidocaine and bupivacaine. The duration of action and onset time are similar to those of bupivacaine. The analgesic potency of ropivacaine is 0.60 (0.47-0.75) relative to bupivacaine. Claims for reduced motor block must be considered with differences in analgesic potency in mind.
Studies have demonstrated that ropivacaine is less neuro- and cardiotoxic than bupivacaine.
Ropivacaine is extensively metabolised by the cytochrome P450 system in the liver to 3 and 4-hydroxy-ropivacaine, both of which have some local anaesthetic activity.