Alcaine Eye Drops 0.5%

Alcaine Eye Drops 0.5% is a brand of medicine containing the active ingredient proxymetacaine hydrochloride.

Find out more about active ingredients.

Consumer medicine information (CMI) leaflet

Developed by the pharmaceutical company responsible for this medicine in Australia, according to TGA regulations.

ALCAINE 0.5% Eye Drops

Proxymetacaine hydrochloride

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

Read this leaflet carefully before you start to use ALCAINE® Eye Drops.

This leaflet has been written to answer some common questions about ALCAINE. It does not contain all of the available information and does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you being given ALCAINE against the benefits this medicine is expected to have on you.

The information in this leaflet applies to ALCAINE only. This information does not apply to similar products, even if they contain the same ingredients.

If you have any concerns about this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet in a safe place. You may need to read it again.

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What ALCAINE is used for

ALCAINE contains the active ingredient proxymetacaine hydrochloride, which belongs to a group of medicines called local anaesthetics. It works by making the pain nerves unable to pass messages to the brain.

ALCAINE is used, to temporarily numb or block the feeling (anaesthetise) in your eye(s). Your doctor will put ALCAINE in your eye(s) for a simple medical procedure, such as removal of a foreign body, eg. a bit of dirt, or for the removal of stitches from your eye, to reduce any pain or discomfort that you may feel during the procedure. If you are to have the pressure in your eye measured or a cataract removed or a similar procedure, your doctor will also use ALCAINE to numb your eye. The numbing effect of ALCAINE will wear off quickly, usually about 15 minutes after the last drop is put in your eye(s).

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.

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Before you are given ALCAINE

When you must not be given it

ALCAINE should not be given to you if:

  • You have an allergy to proxymetacaine hydrochloride, or to any of the ingredients in ALCAINE (these are listed under Product Description).
    Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash; itching or hives on the skin.
  • The packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
  • The date (EXP) printed on the label and carton has passed. If you use ALCAINE after the expiry date has passed, it may not work.
  • The product does not look right.

If you are not sure whether you should be given ALCAINE, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

ALCAINE has been developed for use in the eye only. It is not to be swallowed or injected.

Before you are given it

Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines or any substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes.

Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:

  • Epilepsy
  • Heart or respiratory problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Myasthenia gravis (a disease of the muscles causing drooping eyelids, double vision, difficulty in speaking and swallowing and sometimes muscle weakness in the arms or legs).

Tell your doctor if you have ever experienced a reaction to any other local anaesthetics.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast feeding. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits involved.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given ALCAINE.

Prolonged use may produce a diminished duration for the anaesthetic effect, thus more and more of the medication is required to produce the desired anesthetic effect. Prolonged use may result in subsequent corneal (the surface of your eye) damage, eye infection and permanent loss of vision.

It is very important that you protect your eyes from irritating chemicals, avoid touching or rubbing your eye(s) until the anaesthesia has worn off.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy at a pharmacy or health food shop without a doctor’s prescription.

Some medicines and ALCAINE may interfere with each other. These include a group of medicines called “cholinesterase inhibitors”.

Your doctor will advise you and decide whether or not to give you ALCAINE.

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How ALCAINE is given

How much to use

Your doctor will put the correct number of drops of ALCAINE into your eye(s) before starting the procedure on your eye. Your doctor will not write a prescription for ALCAINE for your own use. ALCAINE has been specifically developed to help a doctor numb the feeling in your eye(s) while attending to your eye(s).

The usual dose is one to two drops into your eye(s) before starting the procedure on your eye. The number of times you will be given ALCAINE during the procedure will depend on the type and length of procedure to be performed. For example, your doctor will put one to two drops into your eye(s) just before measuring the pressure in your eye. However, if you are to have minor surgery such as removal of stitches your doctor will put one to two drops in your eye(s) every 5 to 10 minutes for up to three doses.

It is very important that you do not touch or rub your eye while your eye is numb because you may scratch the surface of your eye and damage it. Your doctor will put a patch over your eye after finishing the procedure to protect your eye and stop you from touching it.

If you are wearing soft contact lenses, you will be asked to remove them prior to instillation of the drops by your doctor. You may put your soft contact lenses back into your eyes after the anaesthesia has worn off and at least 15 minutes after you have been given ALCAINE.


The doctor giving you ALCAINE will be experienced in the use of local anesthetics, so it is unlikely that you will be given an overdose.

If too many drops have been put in accidentally in your eye(s) immediately rinse your eye(s) with warm water.

If you think that you or someone else has swallowed ALCAINE, immediately telephone the nearest Poisons Information Centre (in Australia call 13 11 26; in New Zealand call 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766), your doctor or go to Casualty in the nearest hospital, Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

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While you are using ALCAINE

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how ALCAINE affects you. As with any eye medicine, temporary blurred vision or other visual disturbances may affect the ability to drive or use machinery in some people. If blurred vision occurs, wait until your vision is clear before driving or operating machinery.

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After having ALCAINE

Things you must do

You must avoid touching or rubbing your eye(s) until the anaesthesia has worn off.

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Side Effects

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well after having Alcaine. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, however most of the time they are not. You may need to seek medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • Irritation, stinging and burning feeling in the eye
  • Redness or watery eyes
  • Increased winking
  • Dilated pupils causing blurred vision
  • Drying and splitting of the skin on fingertips
  • A severe, immediate allergic reaction involving the front layer (the cornea) of the eye.

Occasionally people notice untoward effects in the rest of their body as a result of using ALCAINE.

Tell your doctor immediately at the first sign of a skin rash or any other sign of allergy (eg hives).

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Let you doctor know if you observe any unwanted effects while using ALCAINE, even if they do not appear in the list above.

Do not feel alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.

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After using ALCAINE


ALCAINE will be stored by your doctor or pharmacist under the recommended conditions. It should be stored between 2° to 8°C (Refrigerate, do not freeze). Protect from light.

ALCAINE should be used in a single patient only.

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Product Description

What it looks like

ALCAINE is a clear liquid that comes in a 15 mL dropper bottle.

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Active drug:
Proxymetacaine hydrochloride

Other ingredients:

  • Glycerol
  • Hydrochloride acid and/or Sodium hydroxide
  • Benzalkonium chloride\
  • Purified water


In Australia this product is supplied by:
Alcon Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd
25 Frenchs Forest Rd East

AUST R 24299

In New Zealand this product is distributed by:
Pharmaco (NZ) Ltd
4 Fisher Crescent
Auckland 1060
New Zealand

This leaflet was prepared in August 2014.

ALCAINE® is a trademark of Alcon.

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CMI provided by MIMS Australia, July 2016  

Related information - Alcaine Eye Drops 0.5%


20 Jul 2016 Information on medicines available in Australia containing proxymetacaine hydrochloride, including our latest evidence-based information and resources for health professionals and consumers. The active ingredient is the chemical in a medicine that makes it work. Medicines that contain the same active ingredient can be available under more than one brand name. Brands include both active ingredients and inactive ingredients. You'll find information about brands of medicines that contain proxymetacaine hydrochloride below, including their consumer medicine information (CMI) leaflets.