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A 39-year-old member asked:

how effective is emla (lidocaine and prilocaine) cream for injection pain?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management 27 years experience
Moderately: It helps but takes quite a while to work.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 36 years experience
Not effective: To be effective, EMLA (lidocaine and prilocaine) should remain in contact with the skin under an occlusive dressing for at least one hour. Use local anesthetic (e.g. Lidocaine, Mepivacaine, Septocaine) for local infiltration. Talk to your health provider for side effects and allergies. Good luck.
Dr. William Jenkins
Specializes in Anesthesiology
Effective: if used properly, takes time, and won't help with deeper structures if involved
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Dermatology 57 years experience
I never bother with it. Properly done, most injections are not difficult. The important thing is to distract and relax the patient. Jokes work better than Emla.
Sep 28, 2014
Dr. Peter Nefcy
Dr. Peter Nefcy commented
Radiology 39 years experience
Waste of time and money
Sep 28, 2014
Dr. Peter Nefcy
Radiology 39 years experience
Not much: Despite the ads from this drug maker and salespersons, this drug is not very effective and nearly worthless except as a placebo. When you think about it, that only makes sense. The skin is a barrier to water, oil, bacteria, air, dirt, and more. Why would good skin let this drug through easily? In practice, it makes injections worse for some by focusing their attention on the injection site.
Dr. Peter Nefcy
Dr. Peter Nefcy commented
Radiology 39 years experience
Provided original answer
And this drug does not affect the pain of injection below the first layers of skin. A good Doctor will calm you and talk you through almost any injection with less pain.
Sep 28, 2014

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