Local Anesthesia

A local anesthetic (see chart) blocks pain at the site where the medication is administered without affecting the patient's consciousness. It is commonly used for dental procedures, suturing of skin lacerations, short-term surgery at a localized area, spinal anesthesia by blocking nerve impulses (nerve block) below the insertion of the anesthetic, and diagnostic procedures such as lumbar punctures.

Local anesthetics are divided into two groups according to their basic chemical structure. These are esters and amides. An ester is a chemical compound formed from the reaction between an acid and an alcohol. Amides are an organic chemical compound formed by reaction of an acid chloride, acid anhydride, or ester with an amine. Amides have a lower incidence of causing an allergic reaction than esters.

See local anesthetics listing provided in the Appendix. Detailed tables show doses, recommendations, expectations, side effects, contraindications, and more; available on the book's Web site (see URL in Appendix).

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