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Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum  |   January 2013
Tonalgia, “the Most Satisfactory Local Anesthetic”
Author Notes
  • Honorary Curator, ASA’s Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Park Ridge, Illinois, and Clinical Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. .
Article Information
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum   |   January 2013
Tonalgia, “the Most Satisfactory Local Anesthetic”
Anesthesiology 1 2013, Vol.118, 39. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182814fc6
Anesthesiology 1 2013, Vol.118, 39. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182814fc6
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.)
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