What is anesthetic?

  • (adj): Characterized by insensibility.
    Example: "The young girls are in a state of possession--blind and deaf and anesthetic"; "an anesthetic state"
    Synonyms: anaesthetic
    See also — Additional definitions below


An anesthetic (American English) (or anaesthetic, (Commonwealth English) see spelling differences) is a drug that causes anesthesia—reversible loss of sensation. They contrast with analgesics (painkillers), which relieve pain without eliminating sensation. These drugs are generally administered to facilitate surgery. A wide variety of drugs are used in modern anesthetic practice. Many are rarely used outside of anesthesia, although others are used commonly by all disciplines. Anesthetics are categorized into two classes: general anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of consciousness, and local anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of sensation for a limited region of the body while maintaining consciousness. Combinations of anesthetics are sometimes used for their synergistic and additive therapeutic effects. Adverse effects, however, may also be increased.

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Some articles on anesthetic:

Anesthesiologists and Patient-informed Consent
... should be fully informed regarding the manner in which their anesthetic will be administered ... The anesthetic plan, as well as alternatives, risks, and benefits of the chosen anesthetic techniques, should be discussed with the patient prior to surgery ...
... Cyclomethycaine is a local anesthetic ... Anesthetics Local anesthetics - primarily sodium channel blockers (N01B) Esters Esters of aminobenzoic acid Amylocaine Benzocaine Butacaine Butamben ...
Transesophageal Echocardiography - Process
... fentanyl (an opioid), or propofol (a sedative/general anesthetic, depending on dosage) ... Usually a local anesthetic spray is used for the back of the throat, such a xylocaine and/or a jelly/lubricant anesthetic for the esophagus ...
Skin Biopsy - Types - Curettage Biopsy
... on the surface of tumors or on small epidermal lesions with minimal to no topical anesthetic using a round curette blade ... The pathologist must be informed about the type of anesthetic used, as topical anesthetic can cause artifact in the epidermal cells ... Liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy can be used as a topical anesthetic, however, freezing artifacts can severely hamper the dianosis of malignant skin ...
Pediatric Spaying - Anesthesia and Surgical Considerations
... Since anesthetic drugs depress respiration, kittens and puppies must be monitored for hypoventilation ... By using recommended drugs and procedures, anesthetic and surgical risks can be reduced ... patients and includes ensuring proper doses of anesthetic agents ...

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