Antipyrine and Benzocaine (Otic)

Antipyrine and benzocaine combination works synergistically to reduce the pain, swelling, and congestion associated with ear infections and to soften ear wax for easier removal.


Antipyrine and benzocaine combination does not treat an ear infection. It simply reduces the symptoms associated with an ear infection and softens ear wax so that it's easier to remove. Antipyrine is a pain medication and benzocaine is a numbing medicine. These two drugs work together to reduce symptoms. This is a prescription medication available in the form of an eardrop solution. This combination medicine has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for ear infections; it's simply a medication taken to relieve symptoms as a result of the analgesic and numbing properties of these two drugs combined. This medication is effective as a result of the analgesic properties that Antipyrine elicits and the local anesthetic properties of Benzocaine. They work together by reducing swelling and inflammation and numbing pain.

Condition(s) treated

  • Acute otitis media/ear infections
  • Removal of cerumen/earwax build-up

Type of medicine

  • Otic
  • Anasthetic

Side Effects

Antipyrine and benzocaine combination is generally well tolerated by most people, but in some cases it has been known to cause itching, burning, and oozing sores in the ear. If you experience any of these reactions, you are experiencing an allergic response to the medicine and need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This medication may create side effects that have been unreported. Seek medical attention and report any adverse side effects to the FDA.


The dosing of Antipyrine and benzocaine combination depends on the person, the strength of the medication, and the infection it's being used to treat. The number of daily doses will also be dependent on the infection itself. This medication is administered in the form of eardrops. Generally, drops are administered to fill the entire ear when treating an ear infection. Eardrops should be administered every couple of hours until the pain subsides.

Antipyrine and benzocaine combination can also be used to soften earwax. Fill the entire ear with the medication three times a day for two to three days. If you miss a dose, don't double it - simply take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are close to the time of your next dose, wait until your scheduled time to take the missed dose.

Wash your hands before using this medication and only use it in the affected ear. The ear drops can be warmed to body temperature prior to use by simply holding the bottle in your hand for a few minutes. Apply the drops after warming them in your hand for a few minutes. Lay down and pull the ear up and back to open the ear canal and drop the medication into the ear. Continue laying down for at least five minutes to ensure that the medicine coats the ear canal. When putting the eardrops in a child's ear, pull the ear down and back. Have the child lay still for at least one to two minutes. A cotton ball can be used to keep the medication from seeping out if needed. Simply apply a few eardrops on the cotton ball and gently place it in each ear. Leave the cotton ball in the affected ear or ears for five to 10 minutes at the most.

Keep the eardrops free of bacteria by replacing the top immediately after use and not touching the ear or any other surface with the tip. In addition, wipe the tip with a clean tissue and replace the top. Follow all the doctor's instructions as well as the instructions on the containers. Proper use and care of the medication will play a part in its effectiveness.

If this medicine is being used to get rid of excess ear wax, the ears should be flushed with water after three days of use. This is usually performed by a doctor. However, if you rinse your ears at home, follow the directions closely.

Infants under three months old and elderly people may experience some sensitivity to this medication. Adequate studies have not been conducted on geriatric patients, however, the drug is not known to be harmful to elderly patients. However, benzocaine can be particularly irritating to infants under three months old. The use of this medication on pregnant women, elderly, and infants is generally considered safe. However, the benefits of the medications must outweigh any risks before administered.

Drug interactions

It is not likely that any drugs taken orally or injected will have an adverse reaction when used with this medication. However, if you are taking any other medications inform your physician, this includes vitamins and herbs. It's also recommended that other eardrops not be used in conjunction with this medication. In some cases, people have experienced extreme reactions when Antipyrine and benzocaine were paired with particular medications. Most interactions have been reported as minor. Even in the event of possible interactions between drugs, they are sometimes prescribed together with adjustments to the dosages in order to manage the effects.

  • amobarbital
  • armodafinil
  • atenolol
  • butabarbital
  • butalbital
  • carbamazepine
  • cigarette smoking
  • cimetidine
  • diltiazem
  • erythromycin base
  • erythromycin ethylsuccinate
  • erythromycin lactobionate
  • erythromycin stearate
  • ethinylestradiol
  • hexobarbital
  • isoniazid
  • mephobarbital
  • metoprolol
  • mexiletine
  • modafinil
  • norfloxacin
  • peginterferon alfa 2a
  • pentobarbital
  • phenobarbital
  • pipemidic acid
  • primidone
  • secobarbital
  • smoking
  • tacrine
  • tobacco use
  • verapamil
  • zileuton


Do not use Antipyrine and benzocaine if you have a hole in your eardrum, also known as a ruptured eardrum. The use of this medication is not recommended if you have an allergy to either Antipyrine or benzocaine. Furthermore, the effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women are not known. Consult your doctor before use if you are pregnant. It's also recommended that you avoid swimming until your ear infection completely heals. In some cases, ear infections have been known to cause dizziness or a loss of balance. Exercise caution when you drive, operate machinery or do anything else hazardous. If you have any symptoms at all or feel dizzy, see a doctor. In the event of an overdose of this medication, it is unlikely that severe harm will result, however, call the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222.


Antipyrine and benzocaine should be kept at room temperature and stored out of reach of children. The container should be closed at all times when not in use. This medication should be stored away from heat, light, and moisture. Do not freeze this medication. Throw out any medication that is expired, no longer needed, or appears discolored or contaminated in any way. Following storage directions will ensure that your medication is safe to use and that safety is exercised around children.


Antipyrine and benzocaine are two medications that have the ability to manage the pain and swelling associated with ear infections when combined. Antipyrine is a pain medication and benzocaine is a numbing medicine. Combined, these two drugs have the ability to manage many of the symptoms associated with ear infections. This is an otic medication that comes in the form of an eardrop solution. The directions for dosing depend heavily on the strength of the medication, the infection it's being used for, and the patient. Generally, this medication has little or no side effects. However, in rare circumstances, the use of this medication has caused pain, itching, and oozing sores to form in the ears. These reactions generally suggest some type of allergic reaction. Although this medication is not generally irritating, inform your doctor of any other medications you may be taking in conjunction with Antipyrine and benzocaine. This will help to avoid possible drug interactions.

There is little information available to suggest the effects this medication would have on an elderly person, however, it's not considered harmful. Use on infants under three months old may cause irritation based upon the benzocaine. There is also little information available to determine the effects on pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, research has indicated that the use of this medication while pregnant is generally acceptable and presents little risk to the fetus. However, not much is known regarding the effects the medication could have on breastmilk. The benefits must outweigh the risks if prescribed while pregnant. Antipyrine and benzocaine are not FDA approved as a medication to treat an ear infection. An antibiotic would be required for treatment. However, it is a medication to help with many of the symptoms and discomforts of an ear infection. It is also a medication designed to help soften and remove ear wax. This medication should be taken laying down and allowed to coat the ear canal for at least five minutes before getting up. It should also be noted that this medication is not designed to be used on a ruptured eardrum and requires a prescription for use.

Last Reviewed:
December 23, 2017
Last Updated:
April 05, 2018