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Written by Dr Yasmin Aghajan, MD
Information last reviewed 07/22/19
Lidocaine/Prilocaine cream is a local anesthetic. This means that you apply it to the skin and it will numb the area. This makes it an effective treatment for premature ejaculation. The reduced sensation into the skin of the penis, should help to reduce sexual stimulation and therefore delay ejaculation.
Lidocaine/Prilocaine (EMLA) cream works by numbing the local area to which it is applied, by affecting the flow of sodium into the neurons. It works within 5-10 minutes of application and lasts 15-20 minutes.
Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream can be used to treat premature ejaculation. It is also used to numb the skin before dermatologic procedures.
Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream (EMLA) contains the following active ingredients:
Both lidocaine and prilocaine are anesthetics that help to numb the skin.
Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream also contains the following inactive ingredients: polyoxyethylene fatty acid esters (as emulsifiers), carboxypolymethylene (as a thickening agent), sodium hydroxide to adjust to a pH approximating 9, and purified water to 1 gram.
Please note that the inactive ingredients may vary between manufacturers. The ingredients listed above are found in the EMLA brand of Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream.
An allergic reaction to this cream can occur but it is rare in nature. If you notice any of these signs of an allergic reaction after using the cream, make sure to wipe the clean off completely and get medical attention immediately. Signs to look out for include: struggling to breathe, hives, rash, and dizziness. You might want to test the cream on a small patch of skin before using it properly to ensure you are not allergic to it.
A small amount of EMLA cream may be applied to the penis 5 minutes before intercourse. For external use only. Do not apply to open wounds, near the eyes or ears. Squeeze a narrow strip from the tube. A small amount will be systemically absorbed, but in studies, this was not enough to be significant.
Use as directed by your doctor. For premature ejaculation, apply a small amount of cream to the head of the penis at least 5 minutes (but ideally less than 20 minutes) before intercourse. Wipe off any excess cream to avoid numbing or causing irritation to your partner. Lidocaine/Prilocaine cream can weaken latex condoms, increasing the risk of tearing; therefore you should use polyurethane condoms instead.
The most common side effects include:
Rare side effects include:
Rarely, people may have an allergic reaction ranging from itching, stinging, blistering and anaphylaxis. This has been rarely reported.
Lidocaine/Prilocaine cream should not be applied to open wounds, near the eyes, or in the ears. Allergic reactions may occur.
There is a low risk of drug interactions when a small amount of lidocaine is applied topically. However, caution should be used if you are taking anti-arrhythmic drugs (such as tocainide or mexiletine).
Allergy to local anesthetics (such as procaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, lidocaine) or any other ingredients in EMLA.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed and prescribed by a doctor.
Avoid using Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream while breastfeeding, as a small amount may be present in breast-milk.
Lidocaine cream can be used with condoms. The cream is used to help numb and desensitize the penis to prevent premature ejaculation. The condom should be used in the practice of safe sex. There are no issues known to occur due to the interaction between Lidocaine cream and condoms.
Other uses of Lidocaine/Prilocaine cream include numbing for circumcision, tattoos and for injection. It can also be used to treat rectal discomfort due to hemorrhoids. Lidocaine is given as an injection during circumcision to induce the dorsal penile nerve block to aid in pain management. Lidocaine cream helps temporarily numb the skin to prevent pain and involuntary movements the body feels during the process of getting tattooed. This is the same for injections.
If too much Lidocaine is used and absorbed into the skin, it can cause serious side effects. These can include breathing difficulties, irregular heartbeat and even seizures. Make sure to use the amount indicated, no more.
Currently, there is no FDA-approved treatment for premature ejaculation available in the US. Therefore, Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream would be prescribed off-label for PE. This means that it has not passed through the same approval process as other treatments; however, it has been found to be safe and effective as a topical anaesthetic (a numbing agent, applied to the skin). The prescribing doctor will weigh up the risks and benefits of a treatment to ensure that you get the most appropriate and safe treatment for you.
EMLA Cream is a branded version of Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream. EMLA Cream is a local numbing medication, used to treat premature ejaculation.
EMLA is made by APP Pharmaceuticals. It is also available as a generic cream as Lidocaine/Prilocaine.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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