tetracaine (ophthalmic drops)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

19 Habits That Wreck Your Teeth

GENERIC NAME: tetracaine ophthalmic

BRAND NAME: none

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Tetracaine is a topical local anesthetic for the eyes. Tetracaine works by interfering with entry of sodium ions into nerve cells. This reduces the ability of nerves to generate an impulse and send pain sensations.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tetracaine is available as 0.5% sterile eye drops in 15 ml dispensers.

STORAGE: Tetracaine eye drops are stored between 15 C and 25 C (59 and 77 F), in tightly closed containers.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Tetracaine is prescribed as local anesthetic before eye procedures like tonometry, gonioscopy, removal of corneal foreign bodies, and for short corneal and conjunctival procedures. Note that most patients are not prescribed tetracaine for home use because the drug may potentially mask symptoms that require early evaluation by an ophthalmologist.

DOSING:

  • For tonometry and other short procedures: Instill 1 to 2 drops in the eye(s) just prior to evaluation.
  • For minor surgical procedures, such as foreign body or suture removal: Instill 1 to 2 drops in the eye(s) every 5 to 10 minutes for 1 to 3 instillations.
  • For prolonged anesthesia, such as cataract extraction: Instill 1 to 2 drops in the eye(s) every 5 to 10 minutes for 3 to 5 doses.

Dose administration should be done by medical professionals.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: No drug interactions are listed for tetracaine eye drops.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of tetracaine in women to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether tetracaine enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in women who are nursing.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of tetracaine are drowsiness, stinging, burning, redness, and hypersensitivity reactions.

REFERENCES:

DailyMed.gov. TETRAVISC FORTE (tetracaine hydrochloride) liquid.

Medscape. tetracaine (Rx) - Tetcaine, tetracaine ophthalmic.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/15/2014
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