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Benzocaine is a local anaesthetic.

Pronunciation: BENZ-oh-kane

What are benzocaine’s uses?

Benzocaine numbing cream and lozenges are used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by minor skin irritations, a sore throat, sunburn, teething pain, vaginal or rectal irritation, ingrown toenails, haemorrhoids, and many other sources of minor pain on the surface of the body.

It works as a numbing agent by blocking nerve signals in your body.

It’s available as a spray, liquid, gel, lozenges and cream.

What dosage should you take?

For adults, teenagers, and children two years and older, apply cream to the affected area three or four times a day as needed, or suck one lozenge 3 to 4 hourly as needed.

What special precautions should you take?

  • Don’t use during pregnancy without a doctor’s advice.
  • Don’t use if you’re breastfeeding.
  • Not suitable for use on children under two years old or infants.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzocaine or any other medicines.
  • Avoid getting it in your nose, mouth and eyes, as it can cause severe eye irritation.

Benzocaine should be avoided if you have ever had methemoglobinemia, a life-threatening condition in which the amount of oxygen in your blood stream becomes dangerously low. Get emergency help if you have any of the symptoms of methemoglobinemia:

  • Headache
  • Tired feeling
  • Confusion
  • Fast heart rate
  • Feeling light-headed or short of breath
  • A pale, blue, or gray appearance of your skin, lips, or fingernails

Benzocaine should be used with caution if you suffer from the following conditions:

What drug interactions could you experience?

To avoid adverse drug interactions, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take.

What are benzocaine’s side effects?

Side effects could include:

  • Mild stinging, burning, or itching
  • Skin tenderness or redness
  • Dry white flakes

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

An overdose of numbing medications can cause fatal side effects if too much of it is absorbed through your skin and into your blood. Use the smallest amount possible.

Call a doctor or an ambulance immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Headache, weakness, dizziness, breathing problems, fast heart rate
  • Severe burning, stinging, or sensitivity where applied
  • Swelling, warmth or redness
  • Oozing, blistering, signs of infection
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in April 2015