To determine whether the tetracaine component traditionally used in tetracaine-adrenaline-cocaine (TAC) is necessary to obtain effective topical anesthesia, a prospective study was performed to compare TAC and adrenaline-cocaine preparations for the repair of facial lacerations in children. Physicians were "blind" to which preparation was being used. Of 55 patients studied, 24 received TAC (103 sutures placed) and 31 received adrenaline-cocaine (151 sutures placed). The anesthetic efficacy of each preparation was approximately 95%; there were no adverse reactions related to administration of either medication or complications of wound healing noted in either group. The tetracaine component of TAC is superfluous for obtaining topical anesthesia of minor dermal lacerations of the face in children. The TAC formulation can be simplified by omitting tetracaine without compromising anesthetic efficay.

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