Emla cream
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Emla cream package leaflet


This package leaflet provides general information on Emla cream. Be sure to read it carefully before using this medicine. If you have any questions after reading this information, please contact a doctor or pharmacist.

What is Emla cream and what is it used for?


Emla cream contains lidocaine and prilocaine, two local anaesthetics that are used to temporarily desensitise the skin or mucous membranes. When Emla cream is applied to the skin, the lidocaine and prilocaine prevent pain signals passing from that area to the brain and so numb the skin. Emla cream is used by doctors and nurses for minor medical procedures such as cleaning or stitching up wounds, or placing an intravenous drip.
Emla cream can also be used to prevent premature ejaculation in men. In this case, it is used to make the penis and glans less sensitive to sexual stimulation, which makes it easier to delay ejaculation.

What you need to know before using Emla cream


There are a few things that you should take into consideration before using Emla cream:

  • Do not use Emla cream if you are allergic to the lidocaine, prilocaine or any other ingredient in this medicine;
  • Do not use Emla cream if you have a disorder of the red blood cells called methaemoglobinaemia;
  • Avoid contact with the eyes. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the cream;
  • Do not apply Emla cream to broken skin (cuts, grazes or wounds).


For a complete list of contraindications and warnings, see the package leaflet.

How to use Emla cream


It typically takes a while for Emla cream to numb the skin. If used in preparation for medical procedures or tattoos, apply the cream at least one hour in advance. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package leaflet.

When used on mucous membranes such as genital skin, the numbing effect is much faster. If Emla cream is used to prevent premature ejaculation, apply it thinly to the (head of the) penis right before lovemaking. Allow to work for 5 to 15 minutes.

Possible side effects


This medicine may have side effects, although not everyone gets them. The most commonly reported side effects include:

  • Burning, itching or tingling sensation after application. This will usually go away by itself. Consult a doctor if the side effects are persistent.


See the package leaflet for a complete list of possible side effects.

How to store Emla cream


Keep Emla cream out of reach of children. Store at room temperature and do not use after the expiration date (see packaging or label).

Additional information


Emla cream contains lidocaine and prilocaine. For a complete list of ingredients and information on the manufacturer and marketing authorisation holder of this product, please refer to the package leaflet.

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Read the package leaflet for more information about risks and side effects, or ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.