Q:

Where can I buy Emla cream?

A:

EMLA, a topical anesthetic or numbing cream containing 2.5 percent lidocaine and 2.5 percent prilocaine, is available at most pharmacies. Doctors' offices have samples available, and EMLA is also available at hospital pharmacies. It is a prescription-only medication. Generic lidocaine-prilocaine creams containing identical active ingredients are also available.

EMLA stands for Eutectic Mixture of Local Anesthetics. According to pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, it is used on the skin to numb areas before injection or minor surgical procedures. In addition to its cream form, EMLA is also available as a patch. The cream form comes with a bandage or dressing to protect the area while the medication is absorbed. Dosage is measured by dispensing EMLA cream onto a strip measuring 1.5 inches by 0.2 inches.

Because the ingredients in EMLA are absorbed through the skin and cause toxicity at high levels, availability of EMLA is restricted by prescription. EMLA is available in both 5-gram and 30-gram tubes, and it is manufactured for APP Pharmaceuticals.

While EMLA is available through online pharmacies, the FDA recommends using only reputable pharmacies to avoid ineffective, counterfeit or harmful products. Patients taking other medications should discuss the possibility of drug interactions with their doctor before using EMLA.


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