Anesthesiology/Anti anestetic?


QUESTION: Sorry I can't even spell the word. lol. I was wondering there was any such thing as an anti-anesetic? Not something that highens sense of touch necessarily, but something that will turn an anesetic off after it is not longer needed? Like when I go to the dentist to get fillings my face is numb for the larger part of the day and I am usually pretty hungry after my appointment and I am seriously afraid I will bite a hole in my cheek and not even realize it. lol.

ANSWER: What you are asking about are called antidotes:  medicines that reverse the effects of other medicines.  In anesthesia, some medicines have antidotes (morphine, a potent pain killer, can be reversed with a drug called naloxone);  others such as the local anesthetic received at a dentist's office cannot be reversed---again, that's because there is no antidote for local anesthetics.  Eating while your mouth is still numb has the potential side effect you describe:  you could bite/injure your mouth.   Don't eat until the 'local' is worn off completely unless you'd want an oral surgeon sewing your tongue back together!!!  (it's happened)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Why isn't there an antidote to something used so commonly? Are you refering to the topical anestetic rubbed onto the gums or the needle injected into the gums? Maybe there is something natural that can counter act the effects?

"Why" is usually not a question that medicine answers.  Yes, topical and injected numbing medicines are "local anesthetics".  Start working on your organic chemistry degree and perhaps an antidote and/or your Nobel Prize awaits!  (But let's face it--who'd buy it?)


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JM Starkman, MD


Over twenty-five years of adult and pediatric, inpatient and outpatient clinical anesthesia practice--some private, some group.

American Association of Physicians and Surgeons. My county medical society.

[not a researcher]

American medical school graduate. Board Certified. Fellowship trained Cardiovascular and Pediatric anesthesia subspecialist.

Past/Present Clients
Over 20,000 anesthetics, the majority of which have been personally managed, with less than 5% consisting of supervising nurse anesthetists or in-training resident physicians.

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