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Benzocaine/butamben/tetracaine (On the skin)

Benzocaine (BEN-zoe-kane), Butamben (bue-TAM-ben), Tetracaine (TE-tra-kane)

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):

Cetacaine, Exactacain

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to benzocaine, butamben, or tetracaine, or if you have cholinesterase deficiency.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Kit, Gel/Jelly, Spray, Ointment

  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. You will receive this medicine in a hospital or surgery center.
  • This medicine is for use in your ears, nose, mouth, throat, vagina, or rectum. Do not get this medicine in your eyes.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you are allergic to benzalkonium or ammonium.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.

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

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: 11/4/2014


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