Anesthesia

Local anaesthetic drugs act by causing a reversible block to conduction along nerve fibres. They vary widely in their potency, toxicity, duration of action, stability, solubility in water, and ability to penetrate mucous membranes.

These factors determine their application, e.g. topical (surface), infiltration, peripheral nerve block, intravenous regional anaesthesia (Bier’s block), plexus, epidural (extradural), or spinal (intrathecal or subarachnoid ) block.

Local anaesthetics may also be used for postoperative pain relief, thereby reducing the need for analgesics such as opioids.

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