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Viractin

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

What is Viractin (tetracaine topical)?

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

Tetracaine topical cream or ointment is used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by minor skin irritations, cold sores or fever blisters, sunburn or other minor burns, insect bites or stings, and many other sources of minor pain on a surface of the body.

Tetracaine topical solution is used to numb the skin or surfaces inside the mouth, nose, and throat to lessen the pain of inserting a medical instrument such as a tube or scope. The solution may also be used to numb the surface of the eyes before a diagnostic or procedure.

Tetracaine topical may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Viractin (tetracaine 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).

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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 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.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to tetracaine or other numbing medicines such as lidocaine, benzocaine, or prilocaine.

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.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using Viractin (tetracaine 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 this medication if you are allergic to tetracaine or similar numbing medications such as lidocaine, benzocaine, or prilocaine.

Before using tetracaine topical, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. You may not be able to use tetracaine topical, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

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 tetracaine 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.

How should I use Viractin (tetracaine 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 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.

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 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.

Store tetracaine topical cream or ointment at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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 if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of tetracaine 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 Viractin (tetracaine topical)?

Tetracaine topical is for use only on the surface of your body. Avoid swallowing the medication, or getting the cream or ointment in your eyes while applying it.

If tetracaine topical solution has been used in your eyes, avoid rubbing the eyes or exposing them to irritating chemicals or pollutants. Follow your doctor's instructions about covering the eye(s) for a short period of time.

Viractin (tetracaine 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 tetracaine 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

  • 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).

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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Viractin (tetracaine topical)?

There may be other drugs that can affect tetracaine topical. Do not apply other medications to the same affected areas you treat with tetracaine 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.

More about Viractin (tetracaine topical)

Consumer resources

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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: 1.03. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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