Last update Aug. 22, 2019



Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Strong-acting topical anesthetic used in local dermatological, ophthalmologic, oropharyngeal and urological anesthesia. Its use in epidural anesthesia is very rare.

Since the last update we have not found any published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Topical anesthetics (dermatological and stomatological preparations) when well applied have very low systemic absorption so that levels in plasma and, therefore, in breastmilk are zero or insignificant. Absorption is possibly greater if applied to inflamed skin.
The low cutaneous absorption, the rapid hydrolysis of tetracaine in the plasma and its rapid elimination (AEMPS 2014, Galderma 2012) contribute to the fact that after the application of cutaneous topical tetracaine the plasma levels are undetectable or very low (AEMPS 2014, Galderma 2012, Ogden 2008, Terndrup 1992, Mazumdar 1991).
Therefore, it can be considered compatible with breastfeeding (Briggs 2017, Galderma 2012, Schaefer 2007 p632).
It should not be applied over large areas or for prolonged periods to minimize systemic absorption.
Do not apply to the breast to prevent the infant from ingesting it; if necessary, apply after a feed and clean thoroughly with water before the next one.


We do not have alternatives for Tetracaine since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Tetracaine is also known as

Tetracaine in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Tetracaine in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. (Derma: 15) %
Molecular weight 264 daltons
Protein Binding 75 %
pKa 8.5 -
1.25 hours


  1. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Towers CV, Forinash AB. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk. Wolters Kluwer Health. Tenth edition (acces on line) 2015
  2. AEMPS-Braun. Tetracaína. Ficha técnica. 2014 Full text (in our servers)
  3. Galderma. LIdocaine & Tetracaine (Pliagis). Drug Summary. 2012 Full text (in our servers)
  4. Ogden L, Love G, Basta S. Systemic exposure to lidocaine and tetracaine is low after an application of a lidocaine 7%-tetracaine 7% peel in adults. Int J Dermatol. 2008 Jan;47(1):87-90. Abstract
  5. Concin N, Hofstetter G, Plattner B, Tomovski C, Fiselier K, Gerritzen K, Fessler S, Windbichler G, Zeimet A, Ulmer H, Siegl H, Rieger K, Concin H, Grob K. Mineral oil paraffins in human body fat and milk. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Abstract
  6. Schaefer C, Peters P, Miller RK. Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation. Treatment options and risk assessment. Elsevier, second edition. London. 2007
  7. Noti A, Grob K, Biedermann M, Deiss U, Brüschweiler BJ. Exposure of babies to C15-C45 mineral paraffins from human milk and breast salves. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2003 Abstract
  8. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Terndrup TE, Walls HC, Mariani PJ, Gavula DP, Madden CM, Cantor RM. Plasma cocaine and tetracaine levels following application of topical anesthesia in children. Ann Emerg Med. 1992 Feb;21(2):162-6. Abstract
  10. Mazumdar B, Tomlinson AA, Faulder GC. Preliminary study to assay plasma amethocaine concentrations after topical application of a new local anaesthetic cream containing amethocaine. Br J Anaesth. 1991 Oct;67(4):432-6. Abstract

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