What is Emla 5% Cream?
Emla Cream is a topical local anaesthetic used for a number of purposes and procedures. Emla cream contains the active ingredients lignocaine and prilocaine, both of which are numbing agents.
How does Emla 5% Cream work?
As numbing medications, the active ingredients in Emla Cream work by altering the way signals are conducted in neurons. Usually, the nerves on your skin will send signals to your brain when they’re touched. This is how we experience pain.
When Emla Cream is applied, the process that allows these signals to be sent becomes blocked - reducing or stopping the pain from being felt during various medical or cosmetic procedures.
What is Emla 5% Cream used for?
The treatment is used to numb the skin for a variety of purposes and procedures, both in medical environments and other settings. Generally speaking, most people who use Emla Cream do so to help their children feel more comfortable when getting injections, vaccinations and other medical procedures involving needles or canulas.
How long does Emla Cream take to work?
The cream works quite quickly. It should start to numb the affected area in around 30-60 minutes. The more you use, the more it numbs the area.
How long does Emla Cream last?
The numbing effect of Emla Cream usually lasts at least two hours. It can be left on the skin for up to five hours. The longer it is left, the longer the numbing effect will last.
Who can use Emla Cream?
Most adults and children can use Emla Cream. But it isn’t suitable for everyone. Inform your doctor or pharmacist before using Emla Cream if:
- You have had an allergic reaction to Emla Cream or any of the ingredients in Emla Cream in the past
- You have cuts, rashes, eczema, bleeding or scabs on the area you need to use the cream
- You or your child have the rare inherited conditions porphyria, methaemoglobinaemia or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
Does Emla Cream have any side effects?
For most people, Emla Cream is very safe and doesn’t produce side effects. For those who do experience side effects, they’re usually mild and nothing to worry about. They include:
- Itching or tingling in the applied area
- Pale skin with red spots or mild swelling in the applied area
In very rare cases, some people may have an allergic reaction to Emla Cream. Seek immediate medical attention if:
- You get a skin rash including itchy, red, blistered, swollen or peeling skin
- You have trouble breathing
- You start wheezing
- Your chest or throat feels tight
- Your mouth, face, lips tongue or throat start to swell
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
Important: We advise you to always read the patient information leaflet inside the medication box, as the generic medication may not always entirely match the patient information leaflet listed. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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Content last updated: 19 Jun 2023