Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 9, 2020.
(TET ra kane)
- Amethocaine Hydrochloride
- Tetracaine HCl
- Tetracaine Hydrochloride
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product
Solution, Ophthalmic, as hydrochloride:
Altacaine: 0.5% (12 ea, 15 mL [DSC], 30 mL)
Tetcaine: 0.5% (15 mL [DSC]) [contains chlorobutanol (chlorobutol), edetate disodium]
TetraVisc: 0.5% (12 ea [DSC], 5 mL [DSC]) [contains benzalkonium chloride]
TetraVisc Forte: 0.5% (12 ea [DSC], 5 mL [DSC]) [contains benzalkonium chloride, edetate disodium]
Generic: 0.5% (1 mL, 2 mL [DSC], 4 mL, 5 mL, 15 mL)
Brand Names: U.S.
- Tetcaine [DSC]
- TetraVisc Forte [DSC]
- TetraVisc [DSC]
- Local Anesthetic
- Local Anesthetic, Ophthalmic
Ester local anesthetic blocks both the initiation and conduction of nerve impulses by decreasing the neuronal membrane's permeability to sodium, potassium, and other ions, which results in inhibition of depolarization with resultant blockade of conduction
Hepatic; detoxified by plasma esterases to aminobenzoic acid
Onset of Action
Anesthetic: Within 30 seconds
Duration of Action
10 to 20 minutes
Use: Labeled Indications
Anesthesia, ocular: Local anesthesia for various ophthalmic procedures requiring rapid, short-acting topical anesthesia, including tonometry, gonioscopy removal of corneal foreign bodies, conjunctival scraping for diagnostic purposes, suture removal from the cornea or conjunctiva, and other short corneal and conjunctival procedures.
Hypersensitivity to tetracaine or any component of the formulation.
Anesthesia, ocular: Ophthalmic: Instill 1 to 2 drops in affected eye(s) as needed. For tonometry and other procedures of short duration, instill just prior to evaluation. For minor surgical procedures, instill every 5 to 10 minutes for up to a maximum of 3 doses. For prolonged anesthesia, instill every 5 to 10 minutes for up to a maximum of 5 doses.
Refer to adult dosing.
Note: Approval in pediatric patients may vary by products; refer to product-specific labeling.
Ophthalmic anesthesia: Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Ophthalmic solution: Instill 1 drop as needed. Note: In adult patients, doses are separated by 5 to 10 minutes and the maximum number of doses (3 to 5 doses) is dependent on procedure length; fewer doses may be required in young infants; instill initial drop just prior to procedure/evaluation (Anniger 2007; Kliegman 2020; manufacturer's labeling).
Ophthalmic: For topical ophthalmic use only; not for injection or intraocular use. Do not use intracamerally (may lead to damage of the corneal endothelial cells). To avoid contamination, do not touch dropper tip to any surface. Instruct patient to avoid touching eye for 10 to 20 minutes following administration.
Store at room temperature. Protect from light; keep container closed tightly.
Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Local Anesthetics. Specifically, the risk for methemoglobinemia may be increased. Monitor therapy
Frequency not defined: Ophthalmic: Chemosis, conjunctival erythema (transient), lacrimation, photophobia, transient burning or stinging in the eyes
<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Hypersensitivity reaction (corneal)
Concerns related to adverse effects:
• Hypersensitivity: Immediate type allergic corneal reactions, characterized by epithelial keratitis/filament formation, necrotic epithelium sloughing, stromal edema, descemetitis, and iritis, have been reported rarely. Use with caution in patients with known allergies; if signs of sensitivity develop, discontinue use.
• Cardiac disease: Use with caution in patients with cardiac disease.
• Contact lens wearers: Some formulations may contain benzalkonium chloride, which may be adsorbed by soft contact lenses; remove contacts prior to administration and wait at least 15 minutes before reinserting.
• Administration: For topical ophthalmic use only; not for injection or intraocular use. Do not use intracamerally (may lead to damage of the corneal endothelial cells). The anesthetized eye should be protected from irritation, foreign bodies, and rubbing to prevent inadvertent damage.
• Prolonged use: Prolonged and continuous use is not recommended (diminished duration of anesthesia, delayed healing, and severe keratitis may occur). Prolonged use or abuse may also lead to corneal epithelial toxicity, manifesting as epithelial defects, which may progress to permanent corneal damage.
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted.
What is this drug used for?
• It is used to numb the eye.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
• Vision changes
• Eye pain
• Severe eye irritation
• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.
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More about tetracaine ophthalmic
Other brands: TetraVisc