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Generic name: proparacaine ophthalmicproe-PAR-a-kane-off-THAL-mik ]
Brand names: Alcaine, AK-Taine, Ocu-Caine, Ophthaine, Ophthetic, Parcaine
Drug class: Ophthalmic anesthetics

Medically reviewed by on Aug 17, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Alcaine?

Alcaine (for the eyes) is a numbing medicine used to prepare the eyes for an eye examination, surgery, or other procedure.

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

Alcaine side effects

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

Tell your caregivers right away if you have severe burning, stinging, or irritation in your eyes after receiving Alcaine eyedrops.

Alcaine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • slow healing after eye surgery;

  • vision changes; or

  • a restless or nervous feeling followed by depression.

Common side effects of Alcaine may include:

  • eye redness or mild discomfort;

  • watery eyes; or

  • increased winking.

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.


Avoid touching your eye until the numbing effects of Alcaine have worn off completely.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Alcaine if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • allergies;

  • heart problems; or

  • an overactive thyroid.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How should I use Alcaine?

Alcaine is most often used only in a doctor's office or surgical setting.

Alcaine is usually given in only one dose for an eye exam or procedure.

For eye surgery, you may receive several doses before and during the surgery.

A healthcare provider will give you Alcaine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Alcaine is used when needed and given by a healthcare provider, you will not miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since Alcaine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while using Alcaine?

Avoid touching your eye until the numbing effects of this medicine have worn off completely.

This medicine may cause blurred vision, or make your eyes very sensitive to light. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.

You may need to protect your eyes from bright light for a short time after being treated with Alcaine.

What other drugs will affect Alcaine?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

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.

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