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(US), anesthetic
a substance that causes anaesthesia



a substance that acts selectively on the central nervous system and induces a state of anesthesia.

The meaning of the term “anesthetic” has changed in the course of the development of pharmacology. Anesthetics used to include nervous-system depressants and stimulants, as well as many substances that only indirectly affect the nervous system. From the beginning of anesthetic practice, stimulants, depressants, and various indirectly acting substances were the principal anesthetics. Neurotropic agents with different types of action, for example, analgesic, somnifacient, and tranquilizing, are grouped separately. Application of the term “anesthetic” to denote substances of plant or synthetic origin that are narcotics—morphine, oxycodone, Trimeperidin. for instance—was determined by convention, as was the use of the term “narcotic” to convey the sense of “anesthetic.” The main requirements of an anesthetic are that it have broad action, that is, a significant range between the effective (anesthetic) and toxic doses; that it not produce complications; and that it have no aftereffects.

Anesthetics are classified as either inhalation or noninhalation, depending on the method of administration. Inhalation anesthetics are divided into volatile anesthetics, which include ethers, chloroform, trichloroethylene, halothane, and ethyl chloride, and into gaseous anesthetics, such as nitrous oxide and cyclopropane. Noninhalation anesthetics, for example, hexobarbital, sodium thiopental, and propanilid, are administered intravenously. Narcolan is introduced by rectum.

Often, a combination of anesthetics is used to weaken or completely compensate for any negative properties that one of the ingredients might have when used alone. Surgical procedures that involve certain physiological functions can require a combination of an anesthetic with other types of agents, such as muscle relaxants, antihistamines, cholinergic and adrenergic blocking agents, ganglioplegic agents, neuroleptics, and tranquilizers. A new kind of anesthesia has been developed, neuroleptoanalgesia, in which anesthesia is brought about using neuroleptics and analgesics without the use of anesthetics.


Zakusov, V. V. Farmakologiia nervnoi sistemy. Leningrad, 1953.


What does it mean when you dream about an anesthetic?

To dream of being anaesthetized may represent the residue of a memory (e.g., from a medical operation). It could also reflect a desire to be relieved of some painful experience—physical, mental, or emotional.


A drug, such as ether, that produces loss of sensibility.
References in periodicals archive ?
During the use of anesthetic solutions, it is important for the clinician to understand the onset, depth, and duration of anesthetic agent in order to choose the right one for the patient.
Similarly, different needles should be used for drawing up the anesthetic from the vial and for the actual injection procedure.
Early recognition of local anesthetic systemic toxicities and lipophilic drug toxicities is essential for improving patient outcomes and reversing potentially fatal drug overdoses.
The crabs were exposed (immersed in clove oil) for 30 min to the anesthetic bath.
To minimize patients' discomfort, dentists use anesthetics that block the pain, which are administered using needles.
After the administration of local anesthetic (articaine / lidocaine) by either technique, wait of 10 to 15 minutes was observed for induction of anesthesia.
Investigators have shown that warming anesthetic fluid reduces pain upon injection of both nonbuffered and buffered local anesthetics (Ann Emerg Med.
Anesthetics appear to calm most brain neurons, says neuropharmacologist and anesthesiologist Hugh Hemmings Jr.
Moreover, when used for surgery, nitrous oxide is always combined with other general anesthetic agents.
Patients were randomized to 1 of 3 groups: local anesthetic, local anesthetic plus hypnosis, and local anesthetic plus attention.
Because the reported cases involved significant injury to otherwise healthy young adults, the FDA wants to advise health care professionals that elastomeric infusion devices or any other infusion pump are not cleared by [the agency] to deliver intra-articular infusions of local anesthetics and should not be used for this purpose," according to the statement, which listed bupivacaine, chlorprocaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine, procaine, and ropivacaine as the marketed local anesthetics.
The advisory does not mention any reports of adverse events associated with the use of topical anesthetics in this context, but refers to a February 2007 FDA advisory that described two young women who died after applying a topical anesthetic to their legs after laser hair removal--and to a recently published study that evaluated the effect of lidocaine in relieving discomfort during mammograms (Radiology 2008;248:765-72).