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The Emla Patch is a medication consisting of 2 amide-type anesthetics (lidocaine and prilocaine).  These patches are used to prep skin (normal and undamaged only) for certain procedures. These procedures may include injecting a needle for an injection or injecting a needle to draw blood. Anesthetics allow for pain prevention, so the procedure, whatever it may be, will not be painful like it may be without an anesthetic. The Emla Patch may also be used before vaccinations for measles, mumps, rebella-MMR, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliovirus-DPTP, H. influenzae b, and hepatitis B. It prevents pain by numbing the skin and any surrounding areas.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the pack before proceeding to apply the patch.

This patch must only be used on normal undamaged skin; it cannot be applied to skin that has an infection, rash, cut, graze, or any other open wound. An exception can be made for leg ulcers.

Patch must be applied at least one hour prior to the procedure is due. This ensures you feel no pain during the procedure.

Ensure the patch is firmly fixed.

Adults and infants 1 year +

One, two or three patches may be applied at least 1 -5 hours prior to the procedure.

Infants 3 – 12 months

(No more than) two patches may be applied at least 1-4 hours prior to the procedure. Do not exceed 4 hours.

Infants under 3 months

(No more than) one patch should be applied at least 1 hour prior to the procedure. Do not exceed 1 hour.


This medication can only be used on skin that is not damaged. Skin that undamaged is free of infections, rashes, cuts, grazes or any other type of open wound.

Some vaccinations do not mix well with the Emla Patch. Make sure your health care professional knows what you are taking before proceeding with any sort of vaccines.

Pre mature babies (babies born before 37 weeks) absolutely cannot use the Emla patch.

This product may cause irritation if it gets in or around the eyes; avoid getting this medication in your eyes, rinse with water if contact does happen.

Emla has not shown to have any harmful effects on unborn babies however it is always safer to discuss the risks and benefits before using a medication while pregnant. You should also mention to your doctor if you are breast feeding before using this patch.

If you have dermatitis, methaemoglobinaemia or a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, Emla may not be safe for you to use. Mention your condition(s) to your doctor before proceeding with use of the patch.

Side Effects

At any time, if side effects become unmanageable or begin to worry you, contact your doctor right away. Some side effects include; redness, swelling, tingling, burning, or lightening of the skin.

A mild reaction may occur after the use of Emla, you may have symptoms like paleness or redness of the skin, slight puffiness, and initial burning or itching. This is a normal reaction to experience after using an anesthetic and should subside quickly.

If you experience any of the following side effects, remove the patch and contact your doctor right away:

• a rash at a spot where Emla is not being used

• difficulty with breathing

• dizziness

• shaky hands

• blurred vision

• areas of the skin becoming blue


What if I miss a dose?

Apply the patch(es) as soon as you remember. Write down the time you applied the patch so you can tell you doctor; he or she will then be able to determine when to continue with the procedure.

How should I store this patch?

Keep it in the original package until it’s time to use it. Keep this product stored in a cool dry place in a temperature below 30C degrees. Avoid freezing this product or keeping it in warm places.

What does the Emla patch look like?

The Emla patch consists of two main parts; a protective liner and a user part. The skin-colored dressing with a round, white pad and a frame of adhesive tape is the user part. Emla is contained in the white pad part of the patch.

What other procedures may include the use of an Emla patch prior to it?

Asides from injections and blood samples, some other procedures may include vaccinations, skin grafting, cleaning leg ulcers, inserting an intravenous catheter, minor superficial cosmetic procedures and procedures on genital skin.

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