Oxybuprocaine is the name of a topical eye anesthetic, which is used especially in ophthalmology and otolaryngology. Oxybuprocaine is sold by Novartis under the brand names Novesine or Novesin. more...
Where oxybuprocaine is used specifically
- In ophthalmology in order to numb the surface of the eye (the outermost layers of the cornea and conjunctiva) for the followig purposes:
- In order to perform a contact/applanation tonometry.
- In order to remove small foreign objects from the uppermost layer of the cornea or conjunctiva.
- In otolaryngology for numbing the mucous membranes of the nostrils.
Topical eye anesthetics in general
Oxybuprocaine like any other topical eye anesthetic (like for example tetracaine, alcaine, proxymetacaine and proparacaine) can cause irreversible corneal damage and even complete destruction of the cornea when used excessively (excessive use means several times a day during several days or even weeks).
Topical eye anesthetics abuse
Some patients who suffer from eye pain, which is often considerably strong neuropathic pain caused by the irritation of the nerves within the cornea and/or conjunctiva, unfortunately try to illegally obtain oxybuprocaine or other eye anesthetics (for example by stealing them at their ophthalmologist, by forging medical prescriptions or by trying to order it via an online pharmacy) and secretly use the substance to numb their eye pain, often ending up with irreversible corneal damage or even destruction (which is a vicious cycle and causes even much more pain). Often, such patients finally require corneal transplantation.
This behaviour of the patients could be easily prevented by correct and timely information about centrally acting substances that drastically reduce such eye pain (see next section). Unfortunately, ophthalmologists often do not inform their patients about the correct treatment of neuropathic eye pain.
Correct medical treatment of prolonged and chronic eye pain
In case of prolonged or chronic eye pain, especially neuropathic eye pain, it is highly advisable to use rather centrally acting substances like anticonvulsants (pregabalin, gabapentin and in more serious cases carbamazepine) or antidepressants (for example SSRIs or the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline) than topical eye anesthetics like oxybuprocaine. Even very small amounts of an anticonvulsant and/or an antidepressant can almost completely stop eye pain and does not damage the eye at all.
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