Local Anesthetics

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Evolution of Local Anesthetics

There are many different types of local anesthetics. Lidocaine and bupivacaine are among the most commonly used. The medications differ primarily in the speed at which they cause numbness and how long their effect remains. Although topical formulations of local anesthetic exist (such as “numbing creams”), they typically do not have a role in reducing post-surgical pain.

Local anesthetic must be administered by a medical professional. Doses are calculated carefully based on body weight. Although generally extremely safe, local anesthetics do have the potential for side effects, just like any medication. Allergic reactions and permanent nerve damage are possible but very rare. In the overwhelming majority of people, sensation and muscle function return to normal once the anesthetic has worn off.

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