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An anesthetic is a medicine that helps block pain. It may help a person relax, become sleepy or forgetful, and/or become unconscious for surgery.
Anesthesia specialists use these medicines and close monitoring to help keep people safe and comfortable during surgery and other medical procedures.
There are three main types:
Some topical anesthetics are over-the-counter medicines. These medicines can be used as home treatment for minor injuries.
Last Revised: September 30, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD, MD - Anesthesiology
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