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EMLA

Generic Name: Lidocaine and Prilocaine Cream (LYE doe kane & PRIL oh kane)
Brand Name: EMLA

Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018

Uses of EMLA:

  • It is used to numb an area of the skin before care.
  • It is used to lower pain from shots.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take EMLA?

  • If you have an allergy to lidocaine, prilocaine, or any other part of EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have methemoglobinemia.
  • If you are using EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) in the ear and you have a ruptured ear drum. Do not use in the ear if you have a ruptured ear drum.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take EMLA?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
  • Do not put on open wounds, cuts, or irritated skin.
  • Use care when putting on a large part of the skin or where there are open wounds. Talk with the doctor.
  • Do not use EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) for longer than you were told by your doctor.
  • Do not scratch or rub the skin while it is numb. Do not let it get very hot or very cold.
  • If you are 65 or older, use EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (EMLA) best taken?

Use EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Do not take EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • If you get EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) in any of these areas, rinse well with water.
  • Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
  • Use a rubber glove to put on.
  • Put a thick layer on the area to be treated. Do not rub in.
  • You may need to cover the treated area with a bandage or dressing. Talk with the doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of methemoglobinemia like a blue or gray color of the lips, nails, or skin; a heartbeat that does not feel normal; seizures; very bad dizziness or passing out; very bad headache; feeling very sleepy; feeling tired or weak; or shortness of breath.
  • Very bad irritation where EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) is used.

What are some other side effects of EMLA?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Irritation where EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream) is used.
  • Redness.
  • Change in how you feel hot or cold.
  • Pale skin.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out EMLA?

  • Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine cream), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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