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Pontocaine

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

Medically reviewed on Jun 13, 2018

What is Pontocaine?

See also: Embeline

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

Pontocaine (for use on the skin) is used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by mild skin irritations such as sunburn or minor rash.

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

Important Information

An overdose of numbing medicine can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood.

Your body may absorb more of Pontocaine 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 medicine needed to numb the skin or relieve pain.

Before taking this medicine

An overdose of numbing medicine can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood.

Fatal overdoses have occurred when numbing medicines were used without the advice of a medical doctor (such as during a cosmetic procedure like laser hair removal).

Be aware that many cosmetic procedures are performed without a medical doctor present.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to tetracaine or similar numbing medicines such as lidocaine, benzocaine, or prilocaine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have:

  • a skin infection;

  • a skin injury or open sores in the area where this medicine will be applied; or

  • any condition that makes you sensitive to anesthesia.

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

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

How should I use Pontocaine?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use on 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. Rinse with water if Pontocaine gets in your eyes or mouth.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Your body may absorb more of this medicine 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 needed to numb the skin or relieve pain. Do not use large amounts of tetracaine topical. Do not cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice.

To treat minor skin conditions, apply a thin layer of tetracaine topical to the affected area up to 4 times per day.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 7 days, or if symptoms get worse or clear up and then come back.

Pontocaine solution should be stored in the refrigerator and kept from freezing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Pontocaine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. 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 Pontocaine?

Do not get Pontocaine in your eyes. Pontocaine can cause severe eye irritation. If contact does occur, rinse with water.

Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with Pontocaine unless your doctor tells you to.

Pontocaine side effects

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

Stop using Pontocaine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe burning, stinging, swelling, or other irritation of the treated skin;

  • oozing, blistering, or any signs of infection;

  • dizziness, drowsiness, or feeling like you might pass out;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • slow, fast, or irregular heartbeats.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild stinging, burning, or itching where the medicine is applied;

  • skin tenderness or redness; or

  • numbness in places where the medicine is accidentally applied.

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.

What other drugs will affect Pontocaine?

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 health care 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.

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