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Local anaesthetics for surface application


Local anaesthetics in a vehicle suitable for application to skin or mucous membranes are widely prescribed, mainly by general practitioners, gynaecologists, proctologists and dentists. These preparations contain various local anaesthetics, such as amethocaine (Anethaine - Glaxo; Locan and Trilocan - Allied; Menopax and Polycrest - Nicholas; Gingicain spray - Hoechst), benzocaine (Benzocaine compound BPC; Nestosyl - Bengué; RBC - Rybar), cinchocaine (Dermacaine - Medo Chemicals; Nupercainal - Ciba; Proctosedyl - Roussel; Scheriproct - Pharmethicals), cyclomethycaine (Surfadil and Surfathesin - Lilly), or lignocaine (Duncaine - Duncan Flockhart; Xylocaine - Astra-Hewlett; Xylotox - Willow Francis). They are most likely to be used when the specific cause of the discomfort is not obvious or is not easily dealt with radically. The manufacturer of Locan and Trilocan also claims that much of the benefit produced by these preparations is due to antibacterial and antifungal properties of amethocaine and amylocaine which are enhanced by the addition of benzalkonium chloride, an antiseptic.

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  • * An article on The Topical Use of Antihistamines appeared in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin on September 6, 1963 (Vol. 1. No. 10).