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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.



COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Alcaine, Ophthetic


Proparacaine is used in the eye as an anesthetic to numb the pain that may occur during eye procedures (e.g., surgery).

How To Use

Place this medication in the eye(s) usually just before the procedure; or use as directed by your doctor. It may be necessary to repeat a dose every 5 to 10 minutes but prolonged use is not recommended. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface. If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before using eye drops. Then tilt your head back, gaze upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over the eye and instill the prescribed number of drops. Look downward and gently close your eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of the eye near the nose and apply gentle pressure. This will prevent the medication from draining away from the eye. Try not to blink and do not rub the eye. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use. If you are using another kind of eye medication (e.g., drops or ointments), wait at least five minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments, to allow the eye drops to enter the eye. This medication solution should be clear to light yellow in color. If it is discolored (darker), do not use the solution.

Side Effects

Redness, burning, or stinging of the eye(s) may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: eye pain, eye swelling, vision changes. Tell your doctor immediately if dryness or cracking of the skin on the fingertips occurs. This may be a sign of a skin allergy (e.g., allergic contact dermatitis). If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: other eye problems (e.g., cataracts, infections), allergies (especially drug allergies). Prolonged use of eye anesthetics is not recommended; doing so could cause permanent eye problems (e.g., corneal opacities) or loss of vision. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially of: other eye medications (drops or ointments). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. This medication may be harmful if swallowed. Symptoms of an overdose may include, loss of vision or irregular heartbeat.


Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist to establish a new dosing schedule.


Refrigerate between 36 and 46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light and moisture.