Proparacaine

Proparacaine is a topical anesthetic used for eye examinations and procedures. The anesthesia lasts for 10 to 20 minutes.

Proparacaine Overview

Reviewed: April 27, 2015
Updated: 

Proparacaine is a prescription medication used to induce anesthesia for eye examinations and procedures.

Proparacaine belongs to a group of drugs called rapid-acting topical anesthetics. These work by preventing the initiation and transmission of nerve signals.

This medication comes in solution form for topical use during surgical procedures and examinations of the eye.

Common side effects of proparacaine include burning, stinging, or redness of the eye.

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Uses of Proparacaine

Proparacaine is a prescription medication used to induce anesthesia for eye examinations and procedures.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Proparacaine Brand Names

Proparacaine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Side Effects of Proparacaine

Serious side effects have been reported with proparacaine. See the “Proparacaine Precautions” section.

Common side effects of proparacaine include temporary stinging, burning, redness of the eye.

This is not a complete list of proparacaine side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Proparacaine Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

No proparacaine drug interactions have been determined by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Proparacaine Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with proparacaine including a rare, severe, immediate-type, hyperallergic corneal reaction characterized by acute and intense inflammation of the cornea; a gray, ground glass appearance of the eye; and sloughing of large areas of necrotic epithelium in the cornea and iris.

Allergic contact dermatitis from proparacaine has also been reported and includes drying and fissuring of the fingertips.

Do not take proparacaine if you are allergic to proparacaine or to any of its ingredients.

Proparacaine Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of proparacaine, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking proparacaine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to proparacaine or to any of its ingredients
  • have eye disease
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Proparacaine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X - are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Proparacaine falls into category C. No studies have been done in animals, and no well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women. Proparacaine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Proparacaine and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if proparacaine crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using proparacaine.

Proparacaine Usage

Take proparacaine exactly as prescribed.

This medication comes in solution form and is instilled directly into the eye. It is usually administered by a healthcare provider immediately prior to eye examinations or procedures.

Proparacaine Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the condition being treated.

The recommended dose of proparacaine for the removal of foreign bodies and sutures, and for tonometry is 1 to 2 drops (in single instillations) in each eye before operating.

The recommended dose of proparacaine for short corneal and conjunctival procedures is 1 drop in each eye every 5 to 10 minutes for 5 to 7 doses.

Proparacaine Overdose

If you take too much proparacaine, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If proparacaine is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Forms of Medication


Other Requirements

  • Store proparacaine between 8º and 27ºC (46º and 80ºF).
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Proparacaine FDA Warning