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The onset of Cetacaine (benzocaine, aminobenzoate and tetracaine) produced anesthesia is rapid (approximately 30 seconds) and the duration of anesthesia is typically 30-60 minutes, when used as directed. This effect is due to the rapid onset, but short duration of action of Benzocaine coupled with the slow onset, but extended duration of Tetracaine HCl and bridged by the intermediate action of Butamben.
It is believed that all of these agents act by reversibly blocking nerve conduction. Speed and duration of action is determined by the ability of the agent to be absorbed by the mucous membrane and nerve sheath and then to diffuse out, and ultimately be metabolized (primarily by plasma cholinesterases) to inert metabolites which are excreted in the urine.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/8/2004
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Cetacaine Information
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