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Can you tell me if a bottle of Tetracaine Ophthalmic Solution (0.5% 15ml/Bt) can be used multiple times if it never touches the patient's eye and how long it can be kept once it is opened? I cannot find this information anywhere on the Internet.
First and foremost, repeated use of any topical anesthetic like tetracaine can cause toxicity to the cornea which can lead to permanent vision loss. Almost unanimously, ophthalmologists refuse to prescribe topical anesthetics to patients due to their potential for abuse. If your ophthalmologist has prescribed you a topical anesthetic like tetracaine, you should be extremely closely monitored. I have seen multiple cases where a drug like tetracaine was used repeatedly for pain control and the patient lost their eye.
To answer your question, most topical medications contain preservatives which help maintain the sterility of the drug. All medications have expiration dates which are determined by how long the preservative stays effective.
Answered by: Omar R. Chaudhary, MD
Answered: Aug 14, 2014
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