Benzocaine (Americaine, Lanacaine, Hurricane, various)


  • Topical agent


  • Local anesthetic


  • Lubricant and topical anesthetic on intratracheal catheters, nasogastric and endoscopic tubes, urinary catheters, laryngoscopes, proctocopes, etc

  • Relief of pain and pruritis in acute congestive and serous otitis media, acute swimmer’s ear, and other forms of otitis externa


  • Perforated tympanic membrane or ear discharge (otitis media)


  • Pregnancy category C

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • EENT: irritation in ear, itching

  • HEME: methemoglobinemia in infants

  • SKIN: burning, edema, erythema, pruritis, rash, stinging, tenderness, urticaria


Administered topically

  • Adult and Child > 1 year:

    • Anesthetic lubricant: 

      • TOP apply evenly to exterior of tube or instrument prior to use

    • Cerumen removal: 

      • Instill 3 times daily for 2-3 days to help cerumen detach and facilitate removal

    • Otic drops: 

      • Instill 4-5 drops in the external auditory canal, then insert a cotton pledget into the external ear  

      • repeat every 1-2 hours if necessary to relieve pain

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