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Proparacaine

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Overview

  • Proparacaine HCl is a local anesthetic used primarily by ophthalmologists during examinations or diagnostic tests.
  • When applied topically, proparacaine has a rapid onset of action and its effects last for at least 15 minutes. It does not penetrate the eye well, but is absorbed across mucous membranes such as the conjunctiva.
  • Although it is related chemically to other anesthetic agents, such as lidocaine, bupivacaine, novocaine and cocaine, it is considered too toxic to be produced in injectable form.
  • Proparacaine is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Proparacaine HCl: Ophthetic ophthalmic solution® (Allergan), Ak-Taine® (Akorn), Proparacaine 0.5% sterile ophthalmic solution® (Medical Ophthalmics), Proparacaine HCl sterile ophthalmic solution® (Bausch & Lomb), and various generic preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Proparacaine

  • Proparacaine is mainly used to anesthetize the cornea and conjunctiva for the purpose of performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
  • Examples of diagnostic procedures include testing pressure within the eye, cytologic scrapings, flushing of tear ducts, electroretinography to assess function of the retina, and ultrasonography of the eye.
  • Examples of therapeutic procedures include removal of foreign or infected material, biopsy of the conjunctiva, insertion of a contact lens, biopsy and manipulation of the third eyelid, and suture removal.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, proparacaine can potentially cause side effects in some animals.
  • Proparacaine should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Prolonged use of this local anesthetic is not recommended because it becomes less effective with multiple applications, is toxic to corneal epithelium, delays healing of corneal defects, and may result in corneal cloudiness. These side effects prohibit the use of proparacaine as a therapeutic agent.
  • Excessive amounts of anesthetics applied to mucosal surfaces may cause cardiac or respiratory abnormalities.
  • Proparacaine may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with proparacaine.

    How Proparacaine Is Supplied

  • Proparacaine is available as 0.5% solutions in 15 ml bottles.

    Dosing Information

  • Medications should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian. Proparacaine is usually only administered in a hospital setting and is rarely prescribed for home use.
  • One to five drops of proparacaine are applied over a 5 to 15 minute time period, as needed, to provide local anesthesia.
  • Most diagnostic procedures can be performed under 2 drops of proparacaine, separated by 30 to 60 seconds. The onset of anesthesia is usually within one minute.




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