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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Emla

Generic Name: lidocaine and prilocaine topical (Pronunciation: LY doh kayn and PRIL oh kayn TOP ik al)

What is lidocaine and prilocaine topical (Emla)?

Lidocaine and prilocaine topical is a local anesthetic (numbing medication). It works by blocking nerve signals in your body.

Lidocaine and prilocaine topical is used to numb the skin, or surfaces of the penis or vagina, in preparation for a medical procedure or to lessen the pain of inserting a medical instrument such as a tube or speculum.

Lidocaine and prilocaine topical may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of lidocaine and prilocaine topical (Emla)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using lidocaine and prilocaine topical and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe burning, stinging, or sensitivity where the medicine is applied;
  • swelling or redness;
  • sudden dizziness or sleepiness after medicine is applied;
  • bruising or purple appearance of the skin; or
  • unusual sensations of temperature.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild burning where the medicine is applied;
  • skin redness; or
  • changes in skin color where the medicine was applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about lidocaine and prilocaine (Emla)?

Your body may absorb more of this medication if you use too much, if you apply it over large skin areas, or if you apply heat, bandages, or plastic wrap to treated skin areas. Skin that is cut or irritated may also absorb more topical medication than healthy skin.

Use the smallest amount of this medication needed to numb the skin or relieve pain. Do not use large amounts of lidocaine and prilocaine topical, or cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice. Be aware that many cosmetic procedures are performed without a medical doctor present.

Do not use lidocaine and prilocaine topical if you have had an allergic reaction to a numbing medicine in the past.

Before lidocaine and prilocaine topical is applied, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, a history of allergic reaction to lidocaine or prilocaine, or a personal or family history of methemoglobinemia, or any genetic enzyme deficiency.

Lidocaine and prilocaine topical is for use only on the surface of your body. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes.

Avoid accidentally injuring treated skin areas while they are numb. Avoid coming into contact with very hot or very cold surfaces.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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