Tetracaine drops

Generic Name: tetracaine (TET-ra-kane)
Brand Name: Examples include Altacaine and Opticaine

Tetracaine drops is used for:

Numbing the eye during certain procedures.

Tetracaine drops is an anesthetic. It works by blocking nerve impulses, which results in loss of feeling.

Do NOT use tetracaine drops if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in tetracaine drops

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using tetracaine drops:

Some medical conditions may interact with tetracaine drops. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with tetracaine drops. Because little, if any, of tetracaine drops is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if tetracaine drops may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use tetracaine drops:

Use tetracaine drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Tetracaine drops is administered at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions that you may have about tetracaine drops.
  • To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Do not touch or rub the eye until the effect of the medicine has worn off. Your doctor may instruct you to wear an eye patch to prevent you or anything else from touching your eye.
  • If you miss a dose of tetracaine drops, check with your doctor.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use tetracaine drops.

Important safety information:

  • Tetracaine drops may be harmful if swallowed. If you may have taken tetracaine drops by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking tetracaine drops, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using tetracaine drops during pregnancy. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using tetracaine drops, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, tetracaine drops may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if tetracaine drops stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

Possible side effects of tetracaine drops:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Temporary burning, stinging, or redness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of tetracaine drops:

Store tetracaine drops at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Keep tetracaine drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about tetracaine drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Tetracaine drops is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take tetracaine drops or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about tetracaine drops. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to tetracaine drops. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using tetracaine drops.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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