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Anaesthetics

Anaesthetics are drugs and medications that cause anaesthesia, which means a ‘loss of sensation.’ It can either be a numbing of sensation or the inducing of sleep.

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Anaesthetics are drugs and medications that cause anaesthesia, which means a ‘loss of sensation.’ It can either be a numbing of sensation or the inducing of sleep. Anaesthetics work by preventing the nerve signals that tells one to keep awake from reaching the brain. Only once the anaesthetic wears off will these nerve signals be able to finally get to the brain. Anaesthetics come in two kinds: the first is local anaesthetic, which is used for minor procedures. With local anaesthetics, only a selected part of the body is numb and the person remains aware and conscious. The second kind is general anaesthetic, which is used for serious procedures and surgeries. The person, in this case, is unconscious. Other more specific types of anaesthetic are regional anaesthetic which targets a definite region of the body, epidural anaesthesia which is used on the lower half of the body, spinal anaesthetic that provides total numbness, and lastly, sedation which relaxes a person physically and mentally.

Forms of anaesthetics

Anaesthetics can come in multiple forms. It can be in the form of ointments, sprays, or drops. In surgeries and medical procedures, it is given to one via injection into a vein. It can also be a gas to be inhaled for the effects to take place. Most topical anaesthetic gels contain amethocaine, a potent anaesthetic that prevents the brain from receiving pain messages from the nerve cells. Other active ingredients are lignocaine and prilocaine, both of which can numb tissue. Products with these ingredients can last from four hours to six hours.

Side effects of anaesthetics

Before using anaesthetics, one should be aware of the possible side effects, namely nausea, or the feeling of being sick, vomiting, headache, and dizziness. One may also experience itchiness and bruising in the area where the anaesthesia is used.

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