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Tetracaine is a custom pharmacy drug classified as a local anesthetic and it is used primarily to stop pain and induce anesthesia. It is effective as a numbing agent and works by blocking the transmission of select nerve signals within the body. Tetracaine is sometimes given by injection (often intrathecal) during surgery as an extended anesthesia. It is also used as a topical solution during brief procedures on, or examinations of, the eye. Tetracaine may have other uses and benefits. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this powerful anesthetic.


Tetracaine comes in multiple forms of delivery from injections to topical treatments. Only your doctor should decide which, if any, form is appropriate and safe for your use. Always follow your doctor's exact directions for usage.

If you are prescribed a topical medication for numbing the skin or for relief of pain, use a minimal amount, just enough to provide the needed effect or relief. Tetracaine is a potent medication and can be fatal if too much of it is absorbed into the skin or bloodstream. For minor skin problems, your doctor may direct you to apply tetracaine up to 4 times daily, but remember to use this medication sparingly. Ask your doctor for a full explanation of what amount is safe to use and how to apply tetracaine. Never bandage or wrap a treated area unless specifically told to do so by your doctor. Tetracaine is not intended for use on blistering skin (due to burns or abrasions, etc.) or on deep wounds. Ask your doctor for more information and consult with her or him on your options.


While medications can offer great benefits to some patients, unfortunately side effects may be a possible outcome as well. Be sure to see your doctor right away if you experience any side effects that are lingering, or getting worse or more intense. Common side effects seen with tetracaine are provided below.


  • Mild Stinging and/or Burning at site of Application of Medication
  • Mild Itching at site of Application of Medication
  • Tenderness, Redness, Numbness in Areas Where Medicine was Applied by Accident

NOTE: Stop using tetracaine and call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

Regarding Treated Skin:

  • Severe Stinging
  • Severe Burning
  • Severe Swelling
  • Severe Irritation
  • General Swelling
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Signs of Infection (oozing, blistering, or other)

Regarding the Eye:

  • Eye Irritation
  • Watering
  • Increased Sensitivity to Light


  • Feeling Excited
  • Feeling Nervous
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Ringing in Ears
  • Blurry Vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Many and various other side effects are possible, monitor your condition closely and see your doctor if you are concerned about any change within or on your body, and certainly if you feel any side effect is getting worse or persisting.

Severe Side Effects Overview:

Some patients and users may experience potentially severe side effects. If you experience anything that you feel is potentially severe, see your doctor right away, or get medical attention immediately at an approved healthcare facility. Some of the more commonly seen severe side effects are listed below for your convenience. Please note this list is not comprehensive and that individual users may have unique experiences that could result in experiencing side effects others may not, or that are specifically unique to them.

  • Blurred Vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Breathing Problems
  • Slowed Heart Rate
  • Accelerated Heart Rate
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Weak Pulse
  • Fainting
  • Slow Breathing (possibly breathing stoppage)
  • Feeling Like You Could Pass Out

NOTE: If you experience any side effect and are unsure whether you need immediate medical treatment or not, always err on the side of caution and seek medical treatment at once.

Allergy Warning:

Some patients or users may be allergic to this drug and as such may develop an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can sometimes come on quickly, and always have the potential to be extremely dangerous, and in some cases—life threatening. Never delay seeking immediate medical treatment if you are experiencing anything that feels like an allergic reaction. A partial list of some of the possible signs of allergic reaction is provided below.

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Hives
  • Swelling (face, lips, tongue, or throat)


All patients considering the use of tetracaine should have a comprehensive consultation with their doctor before beginning use. Never begin use of any drug, supplement, herbal, or other without the approval of your medical doctor who is aware of your complete medical and drug usage history.


Tetracaine is contraindicated for the following:

  • Inflammation of Eye
  • Eye Infection
  • Heart Disease
  • Overactive Thyroid Gland
  • Allergy to Anesthetics (Ester Type- Parabens)


Tetracaine is contraindicated for the following:

  • Hypersensitivity to Drugs Similar in Chemical Makeup (Ester-Type Local Anesthetics)
  • Hypersensitivity to Aminobenzoic Acid or its Derivatives
  • In Cases Where Spinal Anesthesia as a Technique is Contraindicated
  • Hypersensitivity to Tetracaine Hydrochloride

IMPORTANT NOTE: Tetracaine may be contraindicated or inadvisable for some patients and/or users due to many diverse issues. Consult with your doctor during your initial consultation and be sure to discuss all the potential risks, warnings, and possible contraindications associated with the use of tetracaine.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA