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South Med J. 1989 Nov;82(11):1344-6.

Topical TAC (tetracaine, adrenaline, cocaine) solution for local anesthesia in children: prescribing inconsistency and acute toxicity.

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Department of Pediatrics, Riverside Regional Medical Center, Newport News, VA 23601.


The topical anesthetic solution TAC (tetracaine, adrenaline, cocaine) has gained widespread acceptance as the preferred local anesthetic for repairing skin lacerations in children. Despite this popularity, there are no universally accepted guidelines for its application. We report the case of a 6-month-old infant who had respiratory distress and seizures after TAC administration. In addition, we surveyed emergency departments within the state of Virginia regarding their guidelines for TAC application in children. Of the 91 hospitals surveyed, 32 (35%) currently administer TAC, and 14 (44%) of these have no guidelines regarding its use. Among the 20 (63%) with restrictions, there is wide variability in the way it is prescribed. TAC solution is a highly potent anesthetic agent with significant toxicity potential. Research into appropriate dosages, absorption, and actions needs to be undertaken before its widespread acceptance as the drug of choice for providing local anesthesia in children.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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