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tetracaine topical

Generic Name: tetracaine topical (TET ra kane TOP ik al)
Brand Name: Pontocaine, Dermocaine, Viractin

What is tetracaine topical?

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

Tetracaine topical (for the skin) is used to numb different parts of the body before a medical test or procedure.

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

What is the most important information I should know about tetracaine topical?

An overdose of numbing medicine 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).

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Your body may absorb more of this medicine 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 medicine needed to numb the skin or relieve pain.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using tetracaine topical?

An overdose of numbing medicine can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood.

Overdose 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).

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to tetracaine or similar numbing medicines such as lidocaine, benzocaine, or prilocaine.

To make sure tetracaine topical is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of brain or spinal cord injury;

  • heart disease;

  • a blood vessel disorder;

  • eye problems; or

  • skin injury or open sores in the area where this medicine will be applied.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tetracaine topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether tetracaine topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use tetracaine topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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

Your body may absorb more of this medicine 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 tetracaine 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.

To treat minor skin conditions, apply a thin layer of tetracaine topical to the affected area up to 4 times per day.

Do not use tetracaine 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 tetracaine topical. Also call your doctor if your symptoms had cleared up but then came back.

Tetracaine topical solution should be stored in the refrigerator and kept from freezing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since tetracaine 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 or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Tetracaine topical applied to the skin is not likely to cause an overdose unless you apply more than the recommended dose. Overdose may also occur if you apply heat, bandages, or plastic wrap to treated skin areas.

An overdose of tetracaine topical 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 tetracaine topical?

Do not take by mouth. Tetracaine topical is for use only on the skin. Do not use this medicine on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin. If this medicine gets in your nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina, rinse with water.

Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes. Tetracaine topical can cause severe eye irritation.

Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with tetracaine topical unless your doctor tells you to.

Tetracaine topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using tetracaine topical and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe burning, stinging, swelling, or other irritation of the treated skin;

  • swelling, warmth, or redness;

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

  • eye irritation, watering, or increased sensitivity to light.

Rare but serious side effects may include:

  • nervousness, dizziness, blurred vision;

  • drowsiness, feeling like you might pass out;

  • breathing problems;

  • fast or slow heart rate; and

  • weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop).

Common side effects may include:

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

  • skin tenderness or redness; or

  • numbness in places where the medicine is accidentally applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect tetracaine topical?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied tetracaine. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about tetracaine 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2014-03-10, 9:27:38 AM.

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