The basic components in the structure of local anesthetics are the lipophilic aromatic portion (a benzene ring), an intermediate chain, and the hydrophilic amine portion (Fig. 27.1).The intermediate chain has either an ester linkage from the combination of an aromatic acid and an amino alcohol or an amide linkage from the combination of an aromatic amine and an amino acid. The commonly used local anesthetics can be classified as esters or amides based on the structure of this intermediate chain.

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