U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
United Kingdom
A 31-year-old male asked:

If someone has a high tolerance to dental local anesthetics, does this mean they would also have a high tolerance to general anesthesia?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vikram Patel
Pain Management 37 years experience
Anesthesia: There is no good literature on ineffectiveness to local anesthetic. More likely if it is not effective, it is not injected in the right place. The issue is rather at the other end of the needle, meaning the person who is injecting! There is no correlation to resistance to general anesthetic. NO ONE can fight general anesthetic meds. The ANESTHESIOLOGIST always wins!!
Dr. Vikram Patel
Pain Management 37 years experience
Provided original answer
There is little if any evidence in the medical literature regarding resistance to local anesthetic. Some are slow acting and take longer to act, so if an intervention is applied too soon, the area may not be "numb" enough. Some local factors such as infection make the local anesthetic ineffective due to change in its pH levels. long exposure to a local anesthetic may also require higher doses.
Aug 11, 2014
Dr. Gregory Gilbert
Emergency Medicine 23 years experience
Different drugs: Local anesthetic is usually lidocaine or bupivicaine. General anesthetic is halothane or propofol or some other type of drug. So, in short, while you may have a high tolerance to locals and generals, there is no way to use one to compare the other as they are different drugs, different categories, and different mechanisms of action. My best advice, relax and let the meds work. :-)
Dr. Vikram Patel
Pain Management 37 years experience
Halothane is not much in use now a days as better and shorter acting inhalation agents are available such as Desflurane and Sevoflurane. Propofol is mainly used for induction and inhalation agents used for maintenance of anesthesia.
Aug 11, 2014
Dr. Gregory Gilbert
Emergency Medicine 23 years experience
Provided original answer
Agreed - but not clear what procedure the guy is going in for and lives in the UK, so the general message of different drugs, relax, and not to worry. ;-)
Aug 11, 2014
Dr. Vikram Patel
Pain Management 37 years experience
NO problems! Just adding my 2 cents (or pennies in UK!) as an anesthesiologist.
Aug 11, 2014

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Aug 12, 2014

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.