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ALCAINE (proparacaine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) Solution is a rapid acting local anesthetic suitable for ophthalmic use. The onset of anesthesia usually begins within 30 seconds and lasts a relatively short period of time. The main site of anesthetic action is the nerve cell membrane where proparacaine interferes with the large transient increase in the membrane permeability to sodium ions that is internally produced by a slight depolarization of the membrane. As the anesthetic action progressively develops in a nerve, the threshold for electrical stimulation gradually increases and the safety factor for conduction decreases; when this action is sufficiently well developed, block of conduction is produced. The exact mechanism whereby proparacaine and other local anesthetics influence the permeability of the cell membrane is unknown; however, several studies indicate that local anesthetics may limit sodium ion permeability through the lipid layer of the nerve cell membrane. This limitation prevents the fundamental change necessary for the generation of the action potential.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/26/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Alcaine Information
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