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About Emla 5% Cream
Emla cream contains two local
What is Emla & what is it used for?
Emla Cream is available to buy from The Independent Pharmacy, following a free consultation, to help to treat premature ejaculation (PE) in men. To find out more about PE and see all the available treatments, see our Advice for Premature Ejaculation page.
Emla Cream is a local anaesthetic that is applied topically. Local anaesthetics help to numb an area, reducing its ability to feel the sensation. It contains two active ingredients; Lidocaine and Prilocaine. Each
gramof Emla cream contains 25mg of Lidocaine and 25mg of Prilocaine. Emla Cream is manufactured by AstraZeneca. Emla Cream has a variety of anaesthetic uses,including being prescribed to help men who suffer from premature ejaculation.
How does Emla work?
Lidocaine and Prilocaine work by temporarily interrupting the pathway of signals along the nerves. By restricting certain chemicals from entering the nerve endings at the site of application, Emla Cream can prevent certain signals from being passed along the nerve fibres. This means the brain doesn’t receive these signals and therefore cannot interpret them as sensations. This means that Emla cream reduces feeling in the penis and therefore helps to delay ejaculation due to reduced sensitivity.
What does 'off label' mean?
EMLA Cream is normally prescribed to temporarily numb small areas of the skin before minor surgical procedures, however, it can also be prescribed 'off-label' to treat premature ejaculation by applying directly to the tip of the penis.
'Off label' means that the medicine is being used to treat a condition other than those that it was initially licensed to treat. For example, EMLA Cream is licensed to temporarily numb small areas of the skin before minor surgical procedures. This means that there is less established data regarding the effectiveness of this treatment for the condition in which it is prescribed and means that the instructions contained in the product information leaflet may not match the condition you are treating. You should always follow the instructions on the dispensing label on your medicine and contact us if you have any questions.
Emla Cream and latex condoms
It is important to note that Emla Cream is oil-based, which means it can weaken latex condoms leading to a heightened risk of them splitting. Wiping any excess cream from your penis, prior to putting the condom on, should minimise this risk. However, if you are still concerned and want to be extra safe, it is advised to either use two condoms or seek an alternative form of contraception.
Alternatives to Emla Cream
At The Independent Pharmacy, all our premature ejaculation treatments are prescription-only and can be purchased online after you have completed a health consultation.
- A direct alternative to Emla Cream, which contains lidocaine to desensitise the penis, is called Stud 100 Desensitising Spray. It needs to be applied 15 - 30 minutes before sexual activity and all cream must be removed from the penis before intercourse as any residue can cause desensitisation for your partner.
Non-Medicinal Alternatives for Premature Ejaculation
- Behavioural Techniques - This is usually taught by sexual therapists.
- Psychological Techniques - Counselling can often help men to gain control.
- Reduce Penis Sensitivity - Use a thicker or numbing condom, such as Durex Extended Pleasure or Pasante Delay condoms or masturbating a few hours before sex.
Emla cream warnings
Emla cream should help to reduce the sensitivity of the penis, however, its effectiveness can vary. If you find that Emla cream was not as effective as you would like the first time, try spreading it over a larger area. Do not use more than a pea-sized amount and never leave it in place for more than 30 minutes. Leaving Emla cream on for too long can cause complete numbness and can prevent you from achieving an erection.
Do not use Emla cream if:
- You are anaemic (a blood problem which means you have too few red blood cells).
- You have a rare inherited illness that affects the blood called ‘glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency'.
- You have a problem with blood pigment levels called ‘methaemoglobinaemia’.
- You have a skin condition called ‘atopic dermatitis'. This is because the cream may need to be put on the skin for a shorter time.
Emla Cream and other medicines
Do not use Emla cream if you have recently used or been given any of the following medicines:
- Medicines called ‘sulphonamides’ such as sulfamethoxazole.
- Other local anaesthetics.
- Medicines to treat an uneven heartbeat, such as mexiletine or amiodarone.
How to use Emla cream for Premature Ejaculation
It is important you do not follow the instructions on the Patient Information Leaflet with this product; it gives instructions for different uses of Emla cream.
- Pull back the foreskin and apply a pea-sized amount of Emla cream to the underside of the head and neck of the penis.
- Leave the cream for 15 – 30 minutes before sex.
- Ensure you remove all the cream before having sex as it can be transferred to your partner and reduce their sensitivity.
- Emla cream is unaffected by food and alcohol and is suitable for use with non-latex condoms.
Emla cream ingredients
The active substances in each gram of Emla cream are: lidocaine 25 mg and prilocaine 25mg.
The other ingredients are: polyoxyethylene hydrogenated castor oil, Carbomer 974P, sodium hydroxide and purified water.
Emla cream side effects
Not everyone will experience side effects when using Emla Cream, however, if you do experience side effects from the use of Emla cream they may include:
- paleness of the skin
- itching or burning sensation
If you experience any of these side effects they should not last long. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects.
If you experience any adverse effects from taking your prescribed medicine and you are concerned you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.