What is Emla Cream?
Emla 5% Cream is a topical anaesthetic that contains lidocaine and prilocaine. It has various medical uses, as well as being sometimes recommended as a treatment for premature ejaculation. Emla Cream gently numbs the skin, reducing sensitivity. When it is applied to the penis before sex, it creates a slight numbing that may delay ejaculation for a few minutes. It will not affect the quality of your erection or reduce the overall pleasure of sexual intercourse.
Emla Cream is widely used for minor surgical procedures and to numb the skin before injections. It is not used exclusively for treating premature ejaculation and can be bought, or kept at home without any risk of embarrassment.
What are the active ingredients of Emla Cream?
Emla 5% Cream contains two active ingredients, lidocaine and prilocaine. These are anaesthetics that are absorbed into the skin when applied topically. Lidocaine and prilocaine are commonly used by doctors and surgeons. They are frequently applied to the most sensitive areas of the body and are considered to be very safe.
How does Emla Cream work?
Emla Cream’s topical anaesthetic temporarily reduces the natural sensitivity of the penis. The active ingredients lidocaine and prilocaine are absorbed through the penile skin, creating a gentle numbing effect. This temporarily delays the onset of ejaculation, allowing you to have sex for longer. Even though you will experience a reduction in sensitivity, you should not suffer from any overall loss of pleasure. Most men who use Emla as a treatment for premature ejaculation are able to enjoy an improved sex life - as are their partners. The effects of Emla Cream wear off naturally after 1 - 3 hours. If required, you may apply more cream.
Who can use Emla Cream?
Our GPs will generally consider recommending Emla Cream to most (otherwise healthy) men who are suffering from premature ejaculation.
If you are allergic to lidocaine or prilocaine, you cannot use Emla Cream. There are certain other medical conditions such as atopic dermatitis that may also place limitations on how you use this medication. When you complete the short online medical questionnaire, our duty GP will check whether Emla Cream is a safe option for you. Most people (men and women) are able to use Emla Cream safely, and without significant side effects, for a variety of medical procedures.
What are the dosages of Emla Cream?
Emla 5% Cream is an ‘on demand’ medication that is applied topically as needed (i.e. whenever you are planning to have sex). There is no specific dosage. Typically, our GP will instruct you to apply a small amount of cream to the skin of your penis and gently rub it in for a few seconds. The cream will take effect within 15 - 20 minutes and last for up to 3 hours. If you want to have sex again, you may apply more Emla Cream as needed. Until you are familiar with this medication, it is better to start gradually and apply too little cream, rather than too much. If you don’t get the results that you’re looking for, you can always add more cream.
How to use Emla Cream
Emla Cream is very simple to use and takes just a few seconds to apply.
- Begin by gently rubbing a small amount of cream onto the skin of your penis 15 - 20 minutes before you have sex. Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you have applied the cream.
- Once the cream takes effect, you will be able to have sex. If you are planning to have sex without a condom, you must wash any remaining cream off your penis. If you do not, it may affect your partner’s enjoyment of sex by reducing vaginal sensitivity.
- The effects of the Emra cream will wear off after 1 - 3 hours. If you want to have sex again, apply more cream.
Once you have the cream on your fingers, it may be inadvertently transferred to another part of your body or your partner’s body. Take care not to rub your eyes or other parts of your body until you have washed your hands thoroughly.
Can I use Emla Cream and drink alcohol?
Our GPs generally do not recommend drinking alcohol with any medication. However, there are no specific prohibitions against using Emla Cream in conjunction with moderate amounts of alcohol. If you think that alcohol consumption may reduce or limit your ability to use the medication correctly, you should refrain from drinking.
What are the side effects of Emla Cream?
Your Emla Cream will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you begin to use the cream. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference.
If you use Emla Cream exactly as directed by our online Doctor you are unlikely to experience any significant unwelcome side effects. A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
Common (affecting less than 10% of users):
- Redness, slight swelling, or pale skin where the cream was used. This usually goes away after a short time.
- Uncommon (affecting less than 1% of users)
- A mild burning, itching, or tingling sensation when the cream is applied to the skin.
Rare (affecting less than 0.001% of users):
- Mild allergic reactions (which may cause rash or swelling).
- Small red dots on the skin where the cream was applied.
- Eye irritation after getting cream into your eyes by mistake.
Very rarely patients may experience an adverse reaction to Emla Cream. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should discontinue your treatment and seek immediate medical advice.
- Feeling short of breath.
- Low blood pressure, which may make you feel faint or dizzy.
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body.
- Bluish-grey skin
If you experience serious discomfort we recommend that you go straight to your nearest casualty department. In an emergency dial 999.
When not to take Emla Cream
Do not take Emla Cream if you are allergic to lidocaine or prilocaine. If you are suffering from atopic dermatitis, you may be advised not to use the cream or to use it subject to certain restrictions.
When you complete our short online medical questionnaire, our duty GP will check your health profile to make sure that you do not have any medical conditions that prevent you from using Emla Cream safely. If Emla Cream is not suitable for you, our GP may suggest an alternative treatment such as Priligy tablets.
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.