Health Guide

Tetracaine (On the skin)

Tetracaine (TE-tra-kane)

Used to numb certain areas of the body before tests or procedures. This medicine is a topical anesthetic.

Brand Name(s):

Pontocaine HCl

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to tetracaine, or certain other types of numbing medicine. You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to aminobenzoic acid.

How to Use This Medicine:

Gel/Jelly, Liquid

  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Do not apply this medicine to a large area of skin, or to broken or irritated skin.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor about all other medical problems you have before receiving this medicine.
  • It is very important to check with your doctor first about using this medicine before having medical tests to examine your breasts or other medical procedures. Using this medicine before having a medical test for your breasts or before having certain other medical procedures may increase your risk of serious side effects.
  • If this medicine is used in your mouth or throat, do not try to eat or drink anything until feeling has returned to normal.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Seizures or tremors.
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain, cold sweat, or bluish-colored skin.
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Anxiety, dizziness, or drowsiness.
  • Mild nausea or vomiting.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Ringing in your ears.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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