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Generic name: dibucaine topical [ DYE-bue-kane ]
Brand names: Dibucaine, Nupercainal
Drug class: Topical anesthetics

Medically reviewed by on May 10, 2024. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Dibucaine?

Dibucaine is an anesthetic, or numbing medicine.

Dibucaine (for the skin) is used to treat minor pain and itching caused by minor cuts or burns, insect bites or stings, sunburn, or other skin irritations.

Dibucaine is also used to relieve rectal pain and itching caused by hemorrhoids or other rectal irritations.

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

Dibucaine 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.

Dibucaine may cause serious side effects. Stop using Dibucaine and call your doctor at once if you have:

Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.

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.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Dibucaine if you are allergic to it.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if Dibucaine is safe to use if you have any type of allergy.

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you apply Dibucaine to your chest, avoid areas that may come into contact with the baby's mouth.

Do not use this medicine on a child younger than 12 years old without medical advice.

How should I use Dibucaine?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Dibucaine can cause serious side effects if it gets into the mouth, especially in a child.

It is best to use no more than 1 ounce of dibucaine per day (24 hours). If you use the ointment on a child, use no more than 1/4 of an ounce per day.

Wash your hands before and after applying this medication.

Do not apply this medicine to areas of infection, open wounds, broken skin, burns, or irritated skin.

You may cover the treated skin area with a light bandage or gauze dressing.

For hemorrhoids, apply the ointment to the outside of the rectum after each bowel movement, up to 4 times per day.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if they get worse.

Store at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep the tube tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Dibucaine is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using dibucaine topical?

Do not get Dibucaine in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If contact does occur, rinse with water.

Avoid using other medications or skin products on the areas you treat with dibucaine unless your doctor tells you to.

What other drugs will affect Dibucaine?

Medicine used on the skin 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.