Health Guide

Tetracaine (By injection)

Tetracaine (TE-tra-kane)

Causes numbness or loss of feeling in an area of your body. Given before and during surgery, childbirth, or other procedures. This medicine is a type of anesthesia.

Brand Name(s):

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 aminobenzoic acid. You might not be able to use this medicine if you have a condition that prevents you from receiving anesthesia in your spine, such as very low blood pressure or certain types of infection.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Tell your doctor if you are using medicine to treat an infection (antibiotics) such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Bactrim®, Cotrim®, or Septra®.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you are sensitive to sulfites. Tell your doctor if you have asthma or heart rhythm problems. Make sure your doctor knows if you have had a bad reaction to local anesthetics (numbing medicines) in the past, or if you have any other medical conditions.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.

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
  • Fainting or seizures.
  • Headache, stiff neck, or tremors.
  • Redness, pain, or swelling where the shot was given.
  • Severe anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, drowsiness, or dizziness.
  • Tingling in your hands or feet.
  • Unusually fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat.

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

  • Blurred vision or ringing in your ears.
  • Mild dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or chills.

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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