lidocaine and prilocaine (EMLA)

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GENERIC NAME: lidocaine and prilocaine


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Lidocaine and prilocaine is a topical anesthetic cream. Lidocaine and prilocaine enter through the skin and block pain receptors in nerve endings. Lidocaine and prilocaine reduce conduction of nerve impulses by interrupting the transfer of sodium ions across the membranes of nerve cells. This results in a local anesthetic action. The FDA approved lidocaine/prilocaine in December 1992.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Lidocaine and prilocaine cream is commonly used as a local anesthetic on normal intact skin and genital mucous areas, before minor procedures.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of lidocaine and prilocaine are:

  • application site redness,
  • pain,
  • burning,
  • paleness,
  • edema, and
  • altered temperature sensation.



PREPARATIONS: Lidocaine and prilocaine is a combination cream, containing 2.5% of each component. Lidocaine and prilocaine is available in 5 gram and 30 gram tubes.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/29/2015

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