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Alcaine (Ophthalmic)

Generic Name: proparacaine (Ophthalmic route)

proe-PAR-a-kane

Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Alcaine
  • Ocu-Caine
  • Ophthetic
  • Parcaine

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Anesthetic, Local

Chemical Class: Amino Ester

Uses For Alcaine

Proparacaine eye drops are used to numb the eye before surgery, certain tests, or procedures. The eye drops are used to prevent pain during the procedure.

Proparacaine belongs to the group of medicines called local anesthetics. It works by blocking the pain signals at the nerve endings in the eye.

This medicine is to be administered only by or under the direct supervision of an eye doctor.

Before Using Alcaine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of proparacaine eye drops have not been performed in the pediatric population, no pediatric-specific problems have been documented to date.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of proparacaine eye drops in geriatric patients.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Heart disease or
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)—May cause side effects to become worse.

Proper Use of proparacaine

This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain proparacaine. It may not be specific to Alcaine. Please read with care.

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. The eye drops are placed directly in the eye.

Precautions While Using Alcaine

Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.

It is very important to protect your eye from injury while it is still numb. Do not touch or rub the eye. Do not use additional eye drops in the eye until your doctor tells you to. Protect your eye from dust particles, sand, or anything that might cause irritation.

Alcaine Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare

  • Blurred vision
  • redness of the clear part of the eye
  • sensitivity to light
  • severe stinging in the eye
  • tearing
  • throbbing eye pain

Incidence not known

  • Bloody eye
  • burning, stinging, itching, redness, or irritation of the eye
  • change in vision

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

  • Dry skin with cracking
  • grooves or lines in the skin of the fingertips
  • skin rash, hives, itching, or redness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

More about Alcaine (proparacaine ophthalmic)

Consumer resources

Other brands: Parcaine, Ophthetic, Ocu-Caine

Professional resources

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