Benzocaine/butamben/tetracaine (On the skin)


Benzocaine (BEN-zoe-kane), Butamben (bue-TAM-ben), Tetracaine (TE-tra-kane)
Relieves pain. This medicine is used before a medical or dental procedure to numb your skin and to help control gagging. This medicine is a topical anesthetic.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Cetacaine, Exactacain

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to benzocaine, butamben, or tetracaine, or if you have a medical condition known as a cholinesterase deficiency. Make sure your doctor knows if you are allergic to benzalkonium or ammonium, because some brands may contain these other medicines, too.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Kit, Gel/Jelly, Spray, Ointment
  • You will receive this medicine in a hospital or surgery center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine is for use in your ears, nose, mouth, throat, vagina, or rectum. Do not get this medicine in your eyes. Your skin does not have to be dry before the medicine is applied.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless your doctor has told you to.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.

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.
  • Skin turns a blue color around your mouth, fingers, or toes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Dry skin or scabbing.
  • Mild skin redness, itching, oozing, or rash.

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
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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