Currently available local anesthetics have analgesic durations in humans generally less than 12 hours. Prolonged-duration local anesthetics will be useful for postoperative analgesia. Previous studies showed that in rats, combinations of tetrodotoxin (TTX) with bupivacaine had supra-additive effects on sciatic block durations. In those studies, epinephrine combined with TTX prolonged blocks more than 10-fold, while reducing systemic toxicity. TTX, formulated as Tectin, is in phase III clinical trials as an injectable systemic analgesic for chronic cancer pain. Here, we examine dose-duration relationships and sciatic nerve histology following local nerve blocks with combinations of Tectin with bupivacaine 0.25% (2.5 mg/mL) solutions, with or without epinephrine 5 µg/mL (1:200,000) in rats. Percutaneous sciatic blockade was performed in Sprague-Dawley rats, and intensity and duration of sensory blockade was tested blindly with different Tectin-bupivacaine-epinephrine combinations. Between-group comparisons were analyzed using ANOVA and post-hoc
Sidak tests. Nerves were examined blindly for signs of injury. Blocks containing bupivacaine 0.25% with Tectin 10 µM and epinephrine 5 µg/mL were prolonged by roughly 3-fold compared to blocks with bupivacaine 0.25% plain (P
< 0.001) or bupivacaine 0.25% with epinephrine 5 µg/mL (P
< 0.001). Nerve histology was benign for all groups. Combinations of Tectin in bupivacaine 0.25% with epinephrine 5 µg/mL appear promising for prolonged duration of local anesthesia.