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Anesthesiology:
doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182814fc6
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum

Tonalgia, “the Most Satisfactory Local Anesthetic”

Bause, George S. M.D., M.P.H.

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Alarmed by the rising frequency of reported anesthetic accidents in the 1890s, American dentists began exploring ways to avoid using nitrous oxide, ether, or chloroform on their patients. Among a crowd of proprietary local anesthetics marketed to these professionals was Tonalgia. The floral trade card (above) touted Tonalgia as “the most satisfactory local anesthetic ever used.” Tonalgia’s active ingredient was a uniquely vasoconstricting local anesthetic … named cocaine. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)

© 2013 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.

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