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(US), anesthetic
a substance that causes anaesthesia
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A drug, such as ether, that produces loss of sensibility.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Toxic keratopathy due to abuse of topical anesthetic drugs.
(1, 2) Topical anesthetics can decrease the pain sensation via anesthetizing pain nerve endings of intact skin.
The topical anesthetic EMLA has been used to reduce pain of circumcision and was found to be effective in studies by Taddio et al.(1997), as well as Benini, Johnston, Faucher and Aranda (1993).
from the ice-blue sugar block delivered to him as topical anesthetic. He inhales, holding a glass slide - or perforates a vein.
So he gave me two squirts of topical anesthetic and started the procedure.
This recall involves UberScientific Uber Numb Topical Anesthetic Cream and Uber Numb Spray.
FRIDAY, June 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of multisensory pain-reducing interventions to topical anesthetic (TA) reduces pain in eye examinations of preterm infants, according to research published online June 1 in Pediatrics.
M2 EQUITYBITES-December 4, 2017-Lannett's NDA for Cocaine Hydrochloride Topical anesthetic solution submitted with US FDA
M2 PHARMA-December 4, 2017-Lannett's NDA for Cocaine Hydrochloride Topical anesthetic solution submitted with US FDA
The product, a generic version of the topical anesthetic Lidocaine ointment, is available in 35.44 gm and 50 gm sizes.
A comparison of a refrigerant and a topical anesthetic gel as pre injection anesthetics: A clinical evaluation.