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Medications for Anesthesia

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesia is the practice of administering medicines that block the feeling of pain or other sensations to allow medical or surgical operations to take place without causing undue distress or discomfort. There are various types of anesthesia, and most are given by inhalation (breathing in through the nose and mouth) or injection. The medication used to induce anesthesia is called an anesthetic.

The main types of anesthesia include:

  • Procedural sedation: Commonly used outside of an operating room setting, procedural sedation provides a depressed level of consciousness so that a patient can tolerate unpleasant procedures without affecting cardiovascular function and without the need for airway management (help with breathing)
  • Conscious sedation: Conscious sedation reduces a patient's level of consciousness to a certain extent while still maintaining a certain level of awareness so that they can respond purposefully to verbal commands or light stimulation by touch. Often misused to describe other levels of sedation
  • Analgesia: Uses medications that act locally (means in a small defined area) to reduce or eliminate pain in that area
  • Regional anesthesia: involves an injection of a local anesthetic in the vicinity of major nerve bundles that supply a particular body area, for example, epidurals (into the spine) for childbirth, nerve blocks for dental procedures. May be used on its own or combined with general anesthesia
  • General anesthesia: Uses a combination of intravenous and inhaled gases to produce a sleep-like state where the patient is unconscious and will not respond to any stimuli, including pain. This may cause changes in breathing and circulation which will need to be monitored.

Anesthesia is usually administered before an operation by an anesthesiologist or anesthetist. How anesthesia works is still only partially understood.

In most circumstances, anesthesia is very safe, even people who are quite seriously ill can be safely anesthetized. It is often the surgery that carries the biggest risk. However, complications after anesthesia may include an increased risk of a heart attack, pneumonia or stroke.
These outcomes can include postoperative confusion, heart attack, pneumonia, and stroke.

Symptoms of Anesthesia

Symptoms depend on the type of anesthesia used.

Local or regional anesthesia typically results in numbness or tingling in an area supplied by the nerves and moving that region of the body may become difficult or impossible.

General anesthesia causes a loss of consciousness which means you will be unable to feel pain and will not be aware of anything that is happening. Rarely, some people may experience unintended intraoperative awareness.

Side Effects of Anesthesia

Side effects of local anesthesia may include:

  • Pain around the injection site
  • Prolonged numbness that takes a few hours to wear off
  • Dribbling or difficulty speaking if anesthesia was in the mouth.

Side effects of general anesthesia include:

  • Bruising or soreness from the IV drip
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling cold, shivering
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sore throat (from the breathing tube)
  • Temporary memory loss and confusion.

Drugs used for Anesthesia

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
propofol 7.8 375 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: propofol systemic

Brand names:  Diprivan, Propoven

Drug class: general anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

lidocaine 4.4 9 reviews
Rx B N

Generic name: lidocaine systemic

Brand names:  Xylocaine-MPF, Xylocaine HCl, DentiPatch

Drug class: local injectable anesthetics, group I antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

fentanyl 5.6 6 reviews
Rx C 2 X

Generic name: fentanyl systemic

Drug class: narcotic analgesics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Diprivan 8.4 20 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: propofol systemic

Drug class: general anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

lidocaine / prilocaine 8.1 20 reviews
Rx B N

Generic name: lidocaine / prilocaine topical

Brand names:  Emla, Lidopril, AgonEaze, Anodyne LPT, DermacinRx Empricaine, DermacinRx Prikaan, DermacinRx Prizopak, Dolotranz, Leva Set, Lidopril XR, Livixil Pak, Nuvakaan II, Oraqix, Prikaan, Prilolid, Prilovix, Prilovixil Plus, Prilovix Lite, Prilovix Lite Plus, Prilovix Plus, Prilovix Ultralite, Prilovix Ultralite Plus, Relador Pak Plus, SkyaDerm-LP, Venipuncture CPI …show all

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

ketamine 3.4 35 reviews
Rx N 3 X

Generic name: ketamine systemic

Brand name:  Ketalar

Drug class: general anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

succinylcholine 2.1 40 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: succinylcholine systemic

Brand names:  Anectine, Quelicin

Drug class: neuromuscular blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Emla 8.0 14 reviews
Rx B N

Generic name: lidocaine / prilocaine topical

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

glycopyrrolate Rate Add review
Rx B N X

Generic name: glycopyrrolate systemic

Brand name:  Glyrx-PF

Drug class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics, anticholinergic bronchodilators

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

lidocaine Off-label 3.7 6 reviews
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: lidocaine topical

Brand names:  Lidocaine Viscous, LMX 4, Xylocaine Jelly, Xylocaine Topical, Anestacon, CidalEaze, DermacinRx Lido V Pak, Derma Numb, Eha Lotion, LidaMantle, Lidopac, Lidopin, Lidovex, Lidozol, LMX 5, Lydexa, Medi-Quik Spray, Regenecare HA Spray, Zionodil …show all

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

rocuronium 4.3 4 reviews
Rx C N

Generic name: rocuronium systemic

Drug class: neuromuscular blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

etomidate 6.0 2 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: etomidate systemic

Brand name:  Amidate

Drug class: general anesthetics

For consumers: interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Lidocaine Viscous Off-label 1.0 1 review
Rx B N

Generic name: lidocaine topical

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

vecuronium Rate Add review
Rx C N

Generic name: vecuronium systemic

Drug class: neuromuscular blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Anaspaz Rate Add review
Rx C N X

Generic name: hyoscyamine systemic

Drug class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Anectine 10 1 review
Rx C N

Generic name: succinylcholine systemic

Drug class: neuromuscular blocking agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Ketalar 3.5 4 reviews
Rx N 3 X

Generic name: ketamine systemic

Drug class: general anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Xylocaine-MPF Rate Add review
Rx B N

Generic name: lidocaine systemic

Drug class: local injectable anesthetics, group I antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Amidate 2.0 1 review
Rx C N X

Generic name: etomidate systemic

Drug class: general anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

LMX 4 Off-label 1.0 1 review
OTC B N

Generic name: lidocaine topical

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Off-label: Yes

Xylocaine HCl Rate Add review
Rx B N

Generic name: lidocaine systemic

Drug class: local injectable anesthetics, group I antiarrhythmics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Xylocaine Jelly Off-label Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: lidocaine topical

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

Xylocaine Topical Off-label Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: lidocaine topical

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

Anestacon Off-label Rate Add review
OTC B N

Generic name: lidocaine topical

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

CidalEaze Off-label Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: lidocaine topical

Drug class: topical anesthetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

Topics under Anesthesia

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription Only.
OTC Over the Counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.