What Dermatology Practices Should Know About Benzocaine Lidocaine and Tetracaine

Benzocaine, Lidocaine and Tetracaine

In the non-medical world, BLT is a sandwich. In your dermatology practice, however, it stands for Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Tetracaine – a triple anesthetic cream used as a numbing agent to improve patient comfort during procedures. Typically, the prescription compound consists of:

  • 20% benzocaine
  • 6-10% lidocaine
  • 6-10% tetracaine

Bellus Medical’s formula consists of safe Over the Counter levels of individually packaged Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Tetracaine at the following levels:

  • 20% benzocaine
  • 4% lidocaine
  • 2% tetracaine

As a non-invasive topical cream, B, L, or T individual packets are convenient and versatile

Dermatologists use B, L,  or T as a “patient-friendly” local anesthetic for a range of procedures including:

  • Microneedling
  • Skin resurfacing using laser/light-based devices
  • Botox and dermal fillers
  • Laser hair removal
  • Tattooing or tattoo removal
  • Other treatments that require a needle stick

The cream can be applied anywhere on the body, including the face. Patients and physicians prefer using B, L, or T creams because there is no needle required and the application process is quite simple and comfortable.

Ensuring Patient Safety

With any product or procedure, there are always potential risks of toxicity or other side effects. Improper application of topical anesthetics, such as Benzocaine, Lidocaine, or Tetracaine have been known to cause severely adverse or even life-threatening responses, including irregular heartbeat, seizures, coma, or inability to breathe. Compounded products containing benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine are not FDA-approved, so there are no standard guidelines that govern their formulation or use, including dosage. This

Nonetheless, there are regulations that limit how compounding pharmacies can produce and dispense drugs such as topical anesthetics. And by law, your practice is not allowed to use any compounded product from a multi-use container. Instead, you must write a separate prescription for each patient and each use, or a single prescription for a larger amount of the compound, to be used by that individual patient.

As with any product use, there may be side effects associated with the use of topical anesthetics such as Benzocaine, Lidocaine, or Tetracaine. These side effects may be associated with improper use or application of the topical anesthetics. Therefore, it’s important for patients to seek out trained health care professionals for their aesthetic procedure and treatment needs.

Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Tetracaine do not require a prescription

As a dermatologist, patient safety is your number one concern. You can mitigate risks of side effects by carefully choosing a safe level of OTC anesthetic for your patient.

Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Tetracaine are  produced according to over-the-counter drug monograph standards. There is not prescription required, and  Bellus provides the product in single-use packets, eliminating any chance of cross-contamination that might occur with bulk prescription tubes of BLT.

Convenience and versatility make single use Benzocaine, Lidocaine, or Tetracaine packets  an attractive, non-invasive anesthetic for many different procedures within your dermatology practice.

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