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Niphanoid (injection)

Generic Name: tetracaine (injection) (TET ra kane)
Brand Name: Niphanoid, Pontocaine HCl

Medically reviewed: January 8, 2018

What is tetracaine?

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

Tetracaine injection is given as an epidural injection into the spinal column to produce numbness during labor, surgery, or certain medical procedures.

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

Important Information

You should not receive this medicine if you are allergic to tetracaine injection or any other type of numbing medicine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not receive this medicine if you are allergic to tetracaine injection or any other type of numbing medicine.

To make sure you can safely receive tetracaine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

It is not known whether tetracaine will harm an unborn baby. Unless you are receiving this medicine during labor and delivery, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

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

How is tetracaine given?

Tetracaine is given as an injection through a needle placed into an area of your middle or lower back near your spine. You will receive this injection in a hospital setting.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving tetracaine injection.

Spinal numbing medicines can have long-lasting effects on certain body processes such as sexual function, bowel or bladder control, and movement or feeling in your legs or feet. Talk with your doctor about these effects.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since tetracaine is given as needed before a surgery or other medical procedure, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid after receiving tetracaine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Tetracaine 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 caregiver right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • tremors, severe drowsiness;

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • severe headache, neck stiffness, increased sensitivity to light; or

  • numbness, tingling, burning pain, or severe shooting pains anywhere in your body.

Common side effects may include:

  • feeling nervous or excited;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • chills;

  • headache;

  • blurred vision;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • ringing in your ears.

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?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with tetracaine, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with tetracaine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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.

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