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Eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream. A review of the topical anaesthetic/analgesic efficacy of a eutectic mixture of local anaesthetics (EMLA)



Eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream. A review of the topical anaesthetic/analgesic efficacy of a eutectic mixture of local anaesthetics (EMLA)



Drugs 46(1): 126-151



Eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream 5% is a eutectic mixture of the local anaesthetics lidocaine (lignocaine) 25 mg/g and prilocaine 25 mg/g that provides dermal anaesthesia/analgesia following topical application. The principal indication in which eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream has been studied is the management of pain associated with venipuncture or intravenous cannulation, where significantly greater pain relief than placebo, with equivalent efficacy to ethyl chloride spray and lidocaine infiltration, has been demonstrated. In dermatological surgery, eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream offers effective pain relief in children undergoing curettage of molluscum contagiosum lesions, and in adults undergoing split-skin graft harvesting. Particular benefit has also been shown with use of eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream in association with treatment of condylomata acuminata in both men and women, and it appears to provide a useful alternative to lidocaine infiltration in this context. Further research in such indications as paediatric lumbar puncture, minor otological surgery, and minor gynaecological, urological and andrological procedures is likely to further broaden the profile of clinical use for eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream. Eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream has a very favourable tolerability profile, transient and mild skin blanching and erythema being the most frequent adverse events to occur in association with its application to skin. The potential for inducing methaemoglobinaemia, attributed to a metabolite of the prilocaine component of the formulation, prohibits its use in infants younger than 6 months. In summary, eutectic lidocaine/prilocaine cream is a novel formulation of local anaesthetics that has proven to be effective and well-tolerated in the relief of pain associated with various minor interventions in adults and children.

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Accession: 043041661

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PMID: 7691503


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