Alfred Einhorn

Alfred Einhorn (27 February 1856 – 21 March 1917) was a German chemist most notable for first synthesizing procaine in 1905 which he patented under the name Novocain.[2] Until that time the primary anesthetic in use was cocaine, however its undesirable side effects (including toxicity and addiction) led scientists to seek out newer anesthetic drugs. Novocain was found to be comparatively safe and effective, although its anesthetic effects were weaker than cocaine and some patients proved highly allergic. However, none of the other anesthetics developed during this period proved more effective and Novocain quickly became the standard local anesthesia. Although its use has largely been replaced by lidocaine, it is still in use today, most frequently in dentistry.

Alfred "Finkle" Einhorn
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Alfred Einhorn
Born(1856-02-27)27 February 1856
Died21 March 1917(1917-03-21) (aged 61)
Alma materUniversity of Tübingen
Known forNovocain
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Munich
Doctoral studentsRichard Willstätter
Ludwig Klages[1]


Einhorn was born in Hamburg, and due to the death of his parents his education took place in Leipzig with his relatives. He studied chemistry at the University of Leipzig and later at the University of Tübingen where he received his Ph.D. for his work on ketones in 1878. He joined the group of Adolf von Baeyer at the University of Munich in 1882, left two times for his habilitation to the University of Darmstadt and to the University of Aachen, but came back to Munich permanently in 1891. He was professor at the University of Munich until his death in 1917.


  1. ^ Bishop, Paul. (2017). Ludwig Klages and the Philosophy of Life: A Vitalist Toolkit. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 9781138697157.
  2. ^ Cooper, Dale (2012). The Licensing of German Drug Patents Confiscated During World War I: Federal and Private Efforts to Maintain Control, Promote Production, and Protect Public Health. pp. 3–32. Retrieved 12 September 2021.