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What is Emla Cream (Lidocaine/Prilocaine) prescribed for?

Emla Cream contains two different medications within it, which are; Lidocaine and Prilocaine. This cream is used on normal, unbroken skin. Or it is also prescribed to be used on outer genital areas to prevent pain before procedures such as, inserting a needle, skin grafts, or skin laser surgery. This medication works by temporarily numbing the skin and its surrounding area. If this medication does not completely numb the area, there may be other methods added to the usage of this medication. It is best if you speak with your doctor if this does happen to you.

This medication comes in the singular strength of 5%. Remember your dose is based on your medical background and your overall response to the treatment. If your doctor or pharmacist has given you some information in the form of a pamphlet, take the time to read up on this drug, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, please consult your doctor.

Only use this medication on normal clear skin and the genital area. It is not to be applied to broken or irritated skin. Or onto any open wounds. Follow your doctor’s instructions thoroughly.

Make sure to wash your hands before applying this medication.  Once finished, squeeze out the prescribed amount directly onto the skin, and apply it to the affected area.  Do not rub it in. Then cover it with an airtight dressing or bandage. The cream must be allowed to remain in place, and usually remain as a thick layer of the cream. Shortly before the procedure, remove the dressing and the cream. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly.

Apply this medication as directed. The length of time for the medication to stay on the skin depends on the type of procedure you are having. For various reasons a health care professional may have to apply the medication for you.


Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Lidocaine or Prilocaine, or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Also it is best to notify your doctor of your medical history. Inform them you have had the following; heart disease (e.g., irregular heartbeat), kidney disease, liver disease, a certain blood disorder (methemoglobinemia).

Side Effects

Some side effects may occur while taking this mediation, they are as follows; Redness, swelling, tingling/burning, or lightening of the skin may occur. However, if these symptoms do persist or worsen, it is best to consult with your doctor.

If you are experiencing any of these rare but very serious side effects, remove the cream and seek medical help right away. The side effects are as follows; slow/shallow breathing, dizziness, fainting, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, nervousness), seizures, severe drowsiness, pale/bluish/gray skin, unusual tiredness, shortness of breath.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon as you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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