Tetracaine, Tetracaine Hydrochloride, is a local anesthetic used to numb the eyes, nose, or throat.It may also be used before starting an intravenous to decrease pain from the procedure.Typically it is applied as a liquid to the area.Onset of effects when used in the eyes is within 30 seconds and last for less than 15 minutes.
Common side effects include a brief period of burning at the site of use.Allergic reactions may uncommonly occur. Long term use is generally not recommended as it may slow healing of the eye. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe for the baby.Tetracaine HCl is in the ester-type local anesthetic family of medications.It works by blocking the sending of nerve impulses.
Tetracaine was patented in 1930 and came into medical use in 1941.It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$1.34-1.63 per 10 ml bottle. In the United Kingdom the eye drops cost the NHS about 0.49 pounds per dose.