Bupivacaine is a local anesthetic drug. It belongs to the amide group of local anesthetics. Bupivacaine is on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines.

Trade names

Marcaine, Marcain, Sensorcaine, Vivacaine

Available concentrations

0.25%, 0.5%, 0.75%

Chemical structure



  • local infiltration
  • peripheral nerve blocks
  • spinal anesthesia
  • epidural anesthesia and analgesia
  • caudal block

Mechanism of action

Bubivacaine binds to the intracellular portion of voltage-gated sodium chanels on the axonal membrane. This prevents inward current of sodium ions without which there is no depolarization of the membrane and consequently no initiation nor propagation of action potentials.

Adverse effects

Bupivacaine toxicity