Major Uses

Proparacaine HCl is a local anesthetic primarily used in dogs and cats during eye examinations or when performing procedures such as electroretinography, tear duct flushing, or cytologic scrapings. It has a rapid onset of action and does not penetrate the eye wall. It is, however, absorbed across the conjunctiva.

Proparacaine is chemically related to lidocaine and novocaine, but it is too toxic for use in injectable form. The drug is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in animals, but it is prescribed legally as an extra-label drug by veterinarians.

Common Precautions

Proparacaine may cause temporary stinging upon application. Additional adverse effects are not common and should be reported to a veterinarian right away. Prolonged use of proparacaine HCl should be avoided because the drug becomes less effective with each application and is toxic to the corneal epithelium. The drug also delays healing of corneal defects and may cause corneal cloudiness. Using excessive amounts of anesthetic agents on mucosal surfaces has been known to cause respiratory and cardiac abnormalities.

Proparacaine should not be used in pregnant or nursing animals or in those suffering from a painful eye disease. Animals with previous eye problems, digestive upset, liver or kidney disease, or allergies should use this medication with caution.

The tip of the dropper bottle should not be allowed to make contact with the eyes when administering the medication. The medication should not be used if it has become discolored or has particles floating around in the liquid.

Proparacaine HCl may interact with other medications and supplements. It is important to disclose all drugs currently being used before beginning therapy with proparacaine.

Proparacaine should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. This medication is not for internal use. Any accidental ingestion or known or suspected overdose should be reported to a veterinarian right away.


Proparacaine should be stored in a cool and dry place, at room temperature, and away from direct sunlight and heat. It should be kept out of the reach of children and animals.


Proparacaine HCl is available as 0.5% solutions in 15 ml bottles.

This medication is generally administered in a hospital setting. The typical dose of proparacaine HCl is one to five drops applied over 5 to 15 minutes, as needed, to produce a localized anesthetic effect.

Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

Two doses of this drug should not be administered at the same time.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.