How safe are local anesthetic agents?

Updated: Jan 09, 2019
  • Author: Raffi Kapitanyan, MD; Chief Editor: David Vearrier, MD, MPH  more...
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While generally safe, local anesthetic agents can be toxic if administered inappropriately, and in some cases may cause unintended reactions even when properly administered. The toxicity of local and infiltration anesthetics can be local or systemic. Local adverse effects include neurovascular manifestations such as prolonged anesthesia and paresthesias, which may become irreversible. Systemic toxicity most often involves the central nervous system (CNS) or the cardiovascular system.

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