: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness. A local anesthetic causes loss of feeling in a part of the body. A general anesthetic puts the person to sleep.
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1. A compound that reversibly depresses neuronal function, producing loss of ability to perceive pain and/or other sensations. 2. Collective designation for anesthetizing agents administered to an individual at a particular time. 3. Characterized by loss of sensation or capable of producing loss of sensation. 4. Associated with or due to the state of anesthesia.
- flammable a. an inhalation a. that supports combustion and forms explosive mixtures with oxidizing gases.
- general anesthetics drugs used either by the intravenous route or by inhalation that render the subject unconscious and incapable of perceiving pain as might otherwise occur in surgery.
- inhalation a. a gas or a liquid with sufficient vapor pressure to produce general anesthesia when breathed.
- intravenous a. a compound that produces anesthesia when injected intravenously.
- local anesthetics drugs used for the interruption of the nerve transmission of pain sensations. They act at the site of application to prevent perception of pain; examples include procaine and lidocaine.
- primary a. the compound that contributes most to loss of sensation when a mixture of anesthetics is administered.
- secondary a. a compound that contributes to, but is not primarily responsible for, loss of sensation when two or more anesthetics are simultaneously administered.
- spinal a. a local a. agent producing loss of sensation when injected into the subarachnoid space.
- topical a. a local a. preparation suitable for anesthetizing skin surfaces or mucous membranes. Can be used in the form of ointments, creams, jellies, sprays, or solutions.
- volatile a. a liquid a. that at room temperature volatilizes to a vapor which when inhaled is capable of producing general anesthesia. SEE ALSO: a. vapor.

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an·es·thet·ic or chiefly Brit an·aes·thet·ic .an-əs-'thet-ik adj
1) capable of producing anesthesia <\anesthetic agents>
2) of, relating to, or caused by anesthesia <an \anesthetic effect> <\anesthetic symptoms>
an·es·thet·i·cal·ly or chiefly Brit an·aes·thet·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē adv
anesthetic or chiefly Brit anaesthetic n a substance that produces anesthesia

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an·es·thet·ic (an″əs-thetґik) 1. characterized by anesthesia (def. 1); called also numb. 2. producing anesthesia (defs. 1, 2). 3. a drug or agent that is used to abolish the sensation of pain.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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