lidocaine and prilocaine (EMLA)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/29/2015

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.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Back to Medications Index

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors