Emla Cream

Pronunciation

Generic Name: lidocaine and prilocaine topical (LYE doe kane and PRIL oe kane TOP ik al)
Brand Names: Emla

What is Emla?

Emla cream is a local anesthetic (numbing medication) containing lidocaine and prilocaine. It works by blocking nerve signals in your body.

Emla cream is used to numb normal intact skin or the membrane surfaces of the penis or vagina. Emla is used to prepare you for minor surgery or medical procedures on these areas.

Important information

An overdose of numbing medicine can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin. Overdose symptoms may include uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), coma, slowed breathing, or respiratory failure (breathing stops).

Use the smallest amount of this medicine needed to numb the skin. Do not use large amounts of Emla, or cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice.

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Skin that is cut or irritated may also absorb more topical medication than healthy skin.

Use the smallest amount of this medication needed to numb the skin or relieve pain. Do not use large amounts of Emla , or cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice. Be aware that many cosmetic procedures are performed without a medical doctor present.

Before Emla is applied, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, a history of allergic reaction to lidocaine or prilocaine, or a personal or family history of methemoglobinemia, or any genetic enzyme deficiency.

Avoid accidentally injuring treated skin areas while they are numb. Avoid coming into contact with very hot or very cold surfaces.

Before using this medicine

You should not use Emla cream if you are allergic to any type of numbing medicine.

Fatal overdoses have occurred when numbing medicines were used without the advice of a medical doctor (such as during a cosmetic procedure like laser hair removal). However, overdose has also occurred in women treated with a numbing medicine before having a mammography.

Be aware that many cosmetic procedures are performed without a medical doctor present.

To make sure Emla is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a blood cell disorder called methemoglobinemia;

  • liver disease;

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency; or

  • a family history of methemoglobinemia, or any genetic enzyme deficiency.

FDA pregnancy category B. Emla is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Lidocaine and prilocaine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use Emla?

Use Emla cream exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not apply Emla cream in larger amounts than recommended.

You may need to apply Emla at home up to 4 hours before your surgery or procedure. You will be given instructions about how much medicine to use and how long to leave it on the skin. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Use the smallest amount of Emla cream needed to numb the skin. Your body may absorb too much of this medicine if you use too much, if you apply it over large skin areas, or if you apply heat, bandages, or plastic wrap to treated skin areas. Skin that is cut or irritated may also absorb more topical medication than healthy skin.

You may need to cover the skin to help keep the medicine in place. Do not cover treated skin unless your doctor has told you to.

Carefully follow dosing instructions when applying this medicine to a child. Emla doses are based on weight in children. Do not allow a child to use this medicine without adult supervision.

Store Emla cream at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the cream to freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you forget to apply Emla at the time needed before your surgery or medical procedure.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

An overdose of numbing medicine can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood. Symptoms may include uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), slowed breathing, coma, or respiratory failure (breathing stops).

Lidocaine and prilocaine applied to the skin is not likely to cause an overdose unless you apply more than the recommended dose.

What should I avoid while using Emla?

Do not allow this medicine to come into contact with your eyes. If it does, rinse with water.

Do not take by mouth. Emla is for use only on the skin.

Avoid accidentally injuring treated skin areas while they are numb. Avoid coming into contact with very hot or very cold surfaces.

Emla side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Emla: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe burning, stinging, or irritation where the medicine was applied;

  • swelling or redness;

  • sudden dizziness or drowsiness after medicine is applied;

  • confusion, blurred vision, ringing in your ears;

  • bruising or purple appearance of the skin; or

  • unusual sensations of temperature.

Common Emla side effects may include:

  • mild burning where the medicine is applied;

  • itching, rash; or

  • changes in skin color where the medicine was applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Emla?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Emla, especially:

  • chloroquine, dapsone, nitrofurantoin, isosorbide dinitrate, nitroglycerin, nitroprusside, quinine;

  • heart rhythm medication - amiodarone, dofetilide, dronedarone, mexiletine, sotalol, tocainide, and others;

  • seizure medicine - phenobarbital, phenytoin, primaquine; or

  • a sulfa drug - Bactrim, Septra, SMX-TMP or SMZ-TMP, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with lidocaine and prilocaine topical, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Emla.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Emla only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.06. Revision Date: 2014-09-09, 3:29:35 PM.

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