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All about: EMLA Cream

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Generic Name: Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream (LYE-doe-kane/PRIL-oh-kane)
Brand Name: EMLA

EMLA Cream is used for:

Relieving pain of normal intact skin and numbing skin to pain from injections and other medical procedures.

EMLA Cream is a local anesthetic. It works by blocking nerves from transmitting painful impulses to the brain.

Do NOT use EMLA Cream if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in EMLA Cream or to other similar medicines
  • you have the blood disorder methemoglobinemia

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using EMLA Cream:

Some medical conditions may interact with EMLA Cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substance
  • if you have severe liver disease, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, or a perforated ear drum
  • if you have been ill

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with EMLA Cream. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, dofetilide, mexiletine, tocainide), beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), cimetidine, or other medicines containing lidocaine or prilocaine because the risk of side effects or toxic effects, including heart or nerve problems, may be increased
  • Acetaminophen, acetanilid, aniline dyes (eg, p-phenylenediamine), benzocaine, chloroquine, dapsone, naphthalene, nitrates (eg, nitroglycerin, isosorbide), nitrites (eg, sodium nitrite), nitrofurantoin, nitroprusside, pamaquine, para-aminosalicylic acid, phenacetin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primaquine, quinine, or sulfonamides (eg, sulfamethoxazole) because the risk of side effects, including blood problems, may be increased
  • Succinylcholine because the risk of its side effects may be increased by EMLA Cream

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if EMLA Cream may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use EMLA Cream:

Use EMLA Cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with EMLA Cream. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Wash and completely dry the area to be treated. Apply a thick layer of cream to the affected skin. Do not rub EMLA Cream into the skin.
  • EMLA Cream should only be used on normal, unbroken skin. Do not apply to damaged skin.
  • Avoid getting EMLA Cream in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get EMLA Cream in your eyes, rinse them with plenty of water.
  • Wash your hands immediately after using EMLA Cream.
  • Discard unused medicine and packaging in the trash, out of the reach of children and away from pets.
  • If you miss a dose of EMLA Cream, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use EMLA Cream.

Important safety information:

  • EMLA Cream blocks pain and feeling in the skin. Be careful not to injure the treated skin by scratching, rubbing, or coming into contact with extreme cold or heat.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine while you are using EMLA Cream.
  • EMLA Cream may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • When using EMLA Cream on young children, be sure to closely watch the child to prevent the accidental swallowing of EMLA Cream.
  • Use EMLA Cream with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using EMLA Cream in CHILDREN younger than 3 months old; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially blood problems.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using EMLA Cream while you are pregnant. EMLA Cream is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use EMLA Cream, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of EMLA Cream:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abnormal skin sensations; burning; change in hot or cold sensation; pale skin; redness or swelling at the application site.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; confusion; dizziness; nervousness; seizures; slow heartbeat; unusual drowsiness. EMLA Cream may be harmful if swallowed.

Proper storage of EMLA Cream:

Store EMLA Cream at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep EMLA Cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • EMLA Cream is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about EMLA Cream. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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