Tetracaine

Tetracaine is a pain reliever and anesthetic. It is injected during surgery for prolonged anesthesia and as a topical solution for use on the eye during short procedures.

Tetracaine Overview

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Tetracaine is a prescription medication used to prevent pain and induce anesthesia.

Tetracaine belongs to a group of drugs called local 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.

Tetracaine is also available in an injectable form to be given directly into the spinal cord (intrathecal) by a healthcare professional. The injectable form for spinal anesthesia does not contain preservatives.

Common side effects of tetracaine include nervousness, tremors, and changes in blood pressure.

Tetracaine can also cause blurred vision, drowsiness, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how tetracaine affects you.

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Uses of Tetracaine

Tetracaine is a prescription medication used to prevent pain and induce anesthesia.

Topical:

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

Injectable:

Tetracaine is also available in an injectable form to be given directly into the spinal cord (intrathecal) by a healthcare professional. The injectable form for spinal anesthesia does not contain preservatives.

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

Tetracaine Brand Names

Tetracaine Drug Class

Tetracaine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Tetracaine

Serious side effects have been reported with tetracaine. See the “Tetrcaine Precautions” section.

Topical:

Common side effects of topical tetracaine include stinging, burning, and redness of the eye.

Injectable:

Common side effects of injectable tetracaine include:

  • central nervous system changes such as excitation or depression, convulsions, and unconsciousness
  • blood pressure changes
  • itching

This is not a complete list of tetracaine 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.

 

Tetracaine Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take sulfonamides such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra, Bactrim), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), dapsone (DDS), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), sumatriptan (Imitrex, Sumavel Dosepro), zonisamide (Zonegran), acetazolamide (Diamox), and celecoxib (Celebrex).

This is not a complete list of tetracaine drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tetracaine Precautions

Topical:

Serious side effects have been reported with tetracaine including the following:

  • delayed healing
  • corneal infection
  • corneal damage
  • vision loss

Injectable:

  • hypersensitivity (severe allergic reaction). Tell your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms of hypersensitivity, which include the following:
  • chest pain
  • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • rash

Cardiac arrest has also been associated with tetracaine for spinal anesthesia.

Reactions associated with administration techniques of spinal anesthesia include:

  • headache
  • nerve paralysis
  • decreased blood pressure
  • trouble breathing
  • nausea and vomiting

Resuscitation equipment and drugs should be immediately available whenever a local anesthetic drug is used.

Tetracaine can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how tetracaine affects you.

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

Tetracaine 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 tetracaine, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

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

  • are allergic to tetracaine or to any of its ingredients
  • have heart problems
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

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

Tetracaine 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.

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

Tetracaine and Lactation

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

It is not known if tetracaine 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 tetracaine.

Tetracaine Usage

Tetracaine for injection and for topical anesthesia should only be used under the direction of a healthcare provider for surgical procedures or examinations requiring anesthesia.

Tetracaine Dosage

The dose of tetracaine your doctor uses may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

The dosage of all anesthetics varies and depends upon the area to be anesthetized, individual tolerance, and the technique of anesthesia. The lowest dosage needed to provide effective anesthesia should be administered.

Tetracaine Overdose

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

If tetracaine 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.

Other Requirements

  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Unused portions of the injectable solution should be discarded, since the formulation contains no preservatives.