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Generic Name: benzocaine topical (BENZ oh kane TOP ik al)
Brand Names: Anbesol Baby, Anbesol Cold Sore, Anbesol Maximum Strength, Benz-O-Sthetic, Boil Ease Pain Relieving, Detane, Hurricaine, Lanacane Maximum Strength, Orajel Baby, Orajel Mouth-Aid, Retre-Gel, Skeeter Stik, Topex

What is Spec-T (benzocaine topical)?

Benzocaine is a local anesthetic (numbing medication). It works by blocking nerve signals in your body.

Benzocaine topical is used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by minor skin irritations, sore throat, sunburn, teething pain, vaginal or rectal irritation, ingrown toenails, hemorrhoids, and many other sources of minor pain on a surface of the body. Benzocaine is also used to numb the skin or surfaces inside the mouth, nose, throat, vagina, or rectum to lessen the pain of inserting a medical instrument such as a tube or speculum.

Benzocaine topical may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Spec-T (benzocaine topical)?

An overdose of numbing medications can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood. This is more likely to occur when using a numbing medicine without the advice of a medical doctor (such as during a cosmetic procedure like laser hair removal). Overdose symptoms may include uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), coma, slowed breathing, or respiratory failure (breathing stops). Your body may absorb more of this medication if you use too much, if you apply it over large skin areas, or if you apply heat, bandages, or plastic wrap to treated skin areas. Skin that is cut or irritated may also absorb more topical medication than healthy skin.

Use the smallest amount of this medication needed to numb the skin or relieve pain. Do not use large amounts of benzocaine topical, or cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice. Be aware that many cosmetic procedures are performed without a medical doctor present.

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Do not use benzocaine topical if you have a blood cell disorder called methemoglobinemia.

Before using benzocaine topical, tell your doctor if you have any type of inherited enzyme deficiency, a breathing disorder such as asthma or emphysema, or if you smoke.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse within the first 7 days of using benzocaine topical. Also call your doctor if your symptoms had cleared up but then came back.

If you are treating a sore throat, call your doctor if the pain is severe or lasts longer than 2 days, especially if you also develop a fever, headache, skin rash, swelling, nausea, vomiting, cough, or breathing problems.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using Spec-T (benzocaine topical)?

An overdose of numbing medications can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood. This is more likely to occur when using a numbing medicine without the advice of a medical doctor (such as during a cosmetic procedure like laser hair removal). Overdose symptoms may include uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), coma, slowed breathing, or respiratory failure (breathing stops). Do not use benzocaine topical if you have a blood cell disorder called methemoglobinemia.

Before using benzocaine topical, tell your doctor if you have:

  • asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or other breathing disorder;

  • heart disease;

  • a personal or family history of methemoglobinemia, or any genetic enzyme deficiency; or

  • if you smoke.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether benzocaine topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not use this medicine on a child younger than 1 year old.

How should I use Spec-T (benzocaine topical)?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or use it for longer than recommended.

Your body may absorb more of this medication if you use too much, if you apply it over large skin areas, or if you apply heat, bandages, or plastic wrap to treated skin areas. Skin that is cut or irritated may also absorb more topical medication than healthy skin.

Use the smallest amount of medicine needed to numb the skin or relieve pain. Do not use large amounts of benzocaine topical, or cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice. Be aware that many cosmetic procedures are performed without a medical doctor present.

This medication comes with instructions for safe and effective application. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

To treat minor skin conditions, apply a thin layer of benzocaine topical to the affected area up to 4 times per day. If using the spray, hold the container 6 to 12 inches away from the skin. Do not spray this medication onto your face. Spray it instead on your hands and then rub it onto the face, avoiding contact with your eyes.

To treat hemorrhoids, clean the area with soap and water before applying benzocaine topical. Apply the medication up to 6 times per day. If you are using the rectal suppository, try to empty your bowel and bladder before inserting the suppository. Remove the outer wrapper from the suppository before inserting it. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.

Do not use benzocaine topical to treat large skin areas or deep puncture wounds. Avoid using the medicine on skin that is raw or blistered, such as a severe burn or abrasion.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse within the first 7 days of using benzocaine topical. Also call your doctor if your symptoms had cleared up but then came back.

If you are treating a sore throat, call your doctor if the pain is severe or lasts longer than 2 days, especially if you also develop a fever, headache, skin rash, swelling, nausea, vomiting, cough, or breathing problems.

Store benzocaine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid form of this medicine to freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since benzocaine topical is used as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of benzocaine topical applied to the skin can cause life-threatening side effects such as uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), coma, slowed breathing, or respiratory failure (breathing stops).

What should I avoid while taking Spec-T (benzocaine topical)?

Benzocaine topical is for use only on the surface of your body, or just inside the vagina or rectum. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. Avoid swallowing the gel, liquid, or ointment while applying it to your gums or the inside of your mouth. The throat spray or oral lozenge may be swallowed gradually during use.

Avoid eating within 1 hour after using benzocaine topical on your gums or inside your mouth.

Spec-T (benzocaine topical) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using benzocaine topical and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • severe burning, stinging, or sensitivity where the medicine is applied;

  • swelling, warmth, or redness;

  • oozing, blistering, or any signs of infection; or

  • headache, weakness, dizziness, breathing problems, fast heart rate, and gray or bluish colored skin (rare but serious side effects of benzocaine).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stinging, burning, or itching where the medicine is applied;

  • skin tenderness or redness; or

  • dry white flakes where the medicine was applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Spec-T (benzocaine topical)?

There may be other drugs that can affect benzocaine topical. Do not apply other medications to the same affected areas you treat with benzocaine topical, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.

Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about benzocaine topical.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 03/25/2008 12:27:41 PM.
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