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All about: Alcaine Drops

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Generic Name: Proparacaine Eye Drops (proe-PAR-a-kane)
Brand Name: Examples include Alcaine and Ophthetic

Alcaine Drops is used for:

Numbing the eye during certain procedures.

Alcaine Drops is a topical local anesthetic. It works on the nerves to decrease pain.

Do NOT use Alcaine Drops if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Alcaine Drops

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Alcaine Drops:

Some medical conditions may interact with Alcaine Drops. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Alcaine Drops. Because little, if any, of Alcaine Drops is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Alcaine Drops may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Alcaine Drops:

Use Alcaine Drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • To use Alcaine Drops in the eye, first, wash your hands. Tilt your head back. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Drop the medicine into the pouch and gently close your eyes. Immediately use your finger to apply pressure to the inside corner of the eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not blink. Remove excess medicine around your eye with a clean, dry tissue, being careful not to touch your eye. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
  • To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Alcaine Drops is clear to straw-colored. If Alcaine Drops becomes darker, do not use it. Throw away any medicine that has darkened.
  • Alcaine Drops contains benzalkonium chloride, a preservative that may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Ask your doctor about how long you should wait to put your contacts back in after using Alcaine Drops.
  • If you miss a dose of Alcaine Drops, contact your doctor.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use this medicine.

Important safety information:

  • Do not exceed the recommended dose or use Alcaine Drops for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Alcaine Drops may cause drying or cracking of the fingertips if you get it on your hands. Be sure to wash your hands after using Alcaine Drops.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while using Alcaine Drops, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Alcaine Drops during pregnancy. It is unknown if Alcaine Drops is excreted in breast milk after topical use. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Alcaine Drops, check with your doctor to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Alcaine Drops:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Temporary burning, stinging, or redness of the eye.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); gray, ground-glass like appearance of the eye; pain, redness, or irritation of the eye; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Alcaine Drops:

Store Alcaine Drops in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Alcaine Drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Alcaine Drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Alcaine Drops is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Alcaine Drops. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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