5 Important Things to Know About Anesthetics
By: Jacob Thorold
June 13, 2022
Anesthetics are used during a variety of medical procedures to numb the area and avoid pain. When used correctly, they make the patient comfortable and allow for surgical procedures to be carried out without any discomfort. However, anesthetics are powerful medical products that have the potential to cause harm when used irresponsibly. It is crucial that you understand the risks and safety precautions that must be taken when using anesthetics. Here are 5 important things to know about anesthetic products.
1. There are side effects
Many patients experience side effects when using anesthetic products and it is important to know what these side effects are so you can determine whether the reaction is normal or if it is a cause for concern. Side effects include:
- Numbness of the tongue
- Light headedness
- Hyperacusis – an over sensitivity to sounds
- Tinnitus – a ringing sensation in the ears
- Circumoral Paraesthesia – a tingling sensation or numbness around the mouth
It is relatively common for people to experience some of these side effects when using anesthetics. However, they can also be early signs of an anesthetic overdose. If you notice muscle spasms and convulsions alongside the initial side effects, this is a cause for concern. Monitoring the side effects closely is vital in order to maintain safety when using anesthetics.
These side effects are more likely to occur with anesthetic injections into the bloodstream or pills. When using anesthetic sprays, the effect is localised to a specific area and the more sever side effects are unlikely to occur. However, it is still important to be aware of any abnormal effects of the anesthetic.
2. You shouldn’t take anesthetics if you have certain health conditions
Anesthetics can put a lot of strain on your body. If you are perfectly healthy, there should not be any adverse effects from taking anesthetics. But if you have underlying health conditions, it can be dangerous to use anesthetics. You should not take anesthetics if you have the following conditions:
- Severe heart block – a condition that interrupts your heartbeat slowing it down or making it irregular
- Stokes-adams syndrome – a condition that causes abrupt loss of consciousness due to a rapid drop in heart rate
- Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome – a condition that causes the heart to beat incredibly fast for a given period
Anesthetic products can have an impact on your heart, regardless of whether you have an underlying heart condition or not. Some people experience a drop in heart rate and anesthetics can also cause irregular heartbeats. This is not particularly dangerous in people with a healthy heart but if you have any of the conditions listed above, anesthetics could be dangerous. If you are unsure about your heart condition and how it may be impacted by anesthetics, seek advice from your doctor to be safe.
3. Injected doses should only be given by medical providers
Anesthetics come in different forms including pills, sprays and injections. If you are using a simple anesthetic spray, you can administer this yourself without any training. As it is used locally in a specific area, the potential for overdose or severe side effects is very limited. You still need to ensure that you follow the application guidelines carefully, but you don’t need specialist training to use sprays.
However, injected doses of anesthetics should only be given by medical providers, with no exceptions. If too much anesthetic is injected directly into the bloodstream, it can be fatal. When injecting anesthetics, you are working with very small amounts, so it is very easy to administer too much and cause an overdose if you do not have the necessary experience. So, only trained medical practitioners should be entrusted with injections. The same precautions should be taken with pills, although the dosage is easier to control.
4. Avoid driving following a dose
Even after the initial effects of the anesthesia have worn off, it can still impact your ability to function normally. Your reactions may be slowed and your judgment can be impaired, which makes driving or operating heavy machinery very dangerous. You might feel as though you are able to function normally, but it could still be dangerous. As a general rule, you should avoid driving for 48 hours after using anesthetic products. This gives it time to fully leave your system so you return to normal and you are safe behind the wheel.
5. You should not take certain other medications
Certain medications can change the way that anesthetics work, and vice versa. In some cases, this leads to dangerous side effects so you must be aware of the medications that cannot be mixed with anesthetics.These include:
- Antibiotics and anti-fungal medication
- Antiviral medication for hepatitis or HIV/AIDS
- Heart and blood pressure medications (procainamide, propranolol, amiodarone, digoxin, nicardipine)
- Seizure medicine (carbamazepine, phenytoin)
- Tuberculosis medication (isoniazid, rifampin)
- Cimetidine (stomach ulcer medication)
- Fluvoxamine (OCD medication)
- Nefazodone (Antidepressant))
- St. John’s Wort (used for mental health issues and sleep conditions, among other things)
These are the most common medications that interact badly with anesthetics. However, there are others that could potentially be dangerous when used in conjuction with anesthetics. If you are taking medication of any kind, you always need to be cautious about using anesthetic products. Check the guidelines with your medication and speak to your doctor if you are not sure whether your medication is safe with anesthetics.
If you are looking for an effective local anesthetic product, our Lidocaine vials are an excellent choice. This Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection is suitable for use in medical settings where it is applied by a certified professional. It offers local numbing and pain relief for medical procedures and gives superior comfort for patients. Each pack contains 10 vials of pre-measured Lidocaine, ready for use with patients.
This is just one of a number of excellent anesthetics and numbing products that we sell. Our range includes medical products, some that are designed for use by professionals and some that can be administered by patients themselves, like sprays.
Get in touch today to learn more about our anesthetic products and hwo to use them safely.
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