Health Library: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Lidocaine, Prilocaine Topical cream

What is this medicine?

LIDOCAINE; PRILOCAINE (LYE doe kane; PRIL oh kane) is a topical anesthetic that causes loss of feeling in the skin and surrounding tissues. It is used to numb the skin before procedures or injections.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only on the skin. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Do not use more or leave in contact with the skin longer than directed. Do not apply to eyes or open wounds. It can cause irritation and blurred or temporary loss of vision. If this medicine comes in contact with your eyes, immediately rinse the eye with water. Do not touch or rub the eye. Contact your health care provider right away.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • blurred vision

  • chest pain

  • difficulty breathing

  • dizziness

  • drowsiness

  • fast or irregular heartbeat

  • skin rash or itching

  • swelling of your throat, lips, or face

  • trembling

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • changes in ability to feel hot or cold

  • redness and swelling at the application site

What may interact with this medicine?

  • acetaminophen

  • chloroquine

  • dapsone

  • medicines to control heart rhythm

  • nitrates like nitroglycerin and nitroprusside

  • other ointments, creams, or sprays that may contain anesthetic medicine

  • phenobarbital

  • phenytoin

  • quinine

  • sulfonamides like sulfacetamide, sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine and others

What if I miss a dose?

This medicine is usually only applied once prior to each procedure. It must be in contact with the skin for a period of time for it to work. If you applied this medicine later than directed, tell your health care professional before starting the procedure.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • glucose-6-phosphate deficiencies

  • heart disease

  • kidney or liver disease

  • methemoglobinemia

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lidocaine, prilocaine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Be careful to avoid injury to the treated area while it is numb and you are not aware of pain. Avoid scratching, rubbing, or exposing the treated area to hot or cold temperatures until complete sensation has returned. The numb feeling will wear off a few hours after applying the cream.