Local anesthetics are drugs used to obtain a reversible local anesthesia in the body. Unlike general anesthetic that affects the entire body, local anesthetics affect only certain parts of the body. Local anesthetics also do not induce unconsciousness, so that the patient can stay awake during the procedure. Local anesthetics are used for minor surgeries that do not require general anesthesia. They work by blocking nerve impulses in the body, therefore blocking the pain sensation that would normally be transmitted. Local anesthetics are usually injected, but not intravenously, or applied directly to the skin that is known as topic anesthetic.
Local Anesthetics Drugs
The local anesthetic agent itself is usually combined with a vehicle, most commonly sterile water, as well as a reducing agent. The most common drugs that act as local anesthetics are:
Local Anesthetics Uses
Local anesthetics are used during minor surgical procedures or ones that do not require unconsciousness or extreme muscle relaxation. By blocking nerve impulses in the body, local anesthetics help manage pain by decreasing the levels or by blocking the pain altogether.
They are commonly used in dental surgery, podiatry, and eye surgeries among many others, and can be injected directly to the skin. When applied to the skin, usually in a gel or liquid form, it is referred to as a topical anesthetic. It is also available in a form that can be inhaled nasally to achieve a similar effect.
Local Anesthetics Side Effects
When used correctly, local anesthetics have a relatively low chance of side effects but high or accidental doses can have toxic effects on the body due to being absorbed into the bloodstream. Other side effects include:
- A prolonged numbness or tingling sensation in the affected area that usually wears off eventually
- Local anesthetics also carry a risk of temporary nerve damage and depressant effects on the central nervous system when given in high doses.
- Hemorrhaging or bleeding at the injection site are also common side effects and mental clarity may be impaired afterwards as well.
Because of this impaired mental clarity, it is not recommended to drive or take on any strenuous tasks after being given a local anesthetic.
Local Anesthetics Interactions
Virtually every part of the boy can be anesthetized with a local anesthesia, and they may sometimes be used in conjunction with general anesthesia or sedation to maximize the patient’s relaxation and comfort. When being given a local anesthetic, it will usually be recommended that the patient do not eat several prior hours prior to the procedure.
Local anesthetics have an extremely low chance of an allergic reaction in most patients and is safe to use with most other drugs. Local anesthetics may also be used after a surgical procedure to alleviate ongoing pain. When used in low dosage local anesthetics have few side effects but as doses become higher, so does the risk of adverse effects. Therefore, extreme caution must be exercised on both the part of the patient and the doctor performing the procedure and using the local anesthetic.