About Emla

What is Emla’s active ingredient?

Emla is a mixture of two local anaesthetics, lidocaine (lignocaine) and prilocaine.

What forms is Emla available in?

Emla is available in two forms; a cream which is applied then covered with an occlusive dressing – or as a patch which is ready to use. Visit Emla product page for more information.

What is Emla cream used for?

Emla cream is used to numb the skin to help prevent pain prior to blood samples, vaccinations, minor superficial cosmetic procedures, split skin grafting, cleaning leg ulcers, inserting an intravenous catheter, and procedures on genital skin.

What is Emla patch used for?

Emla patch is used to numb the skin to help prevent pain prior to blood samples and vaccinations.

How should I use Emla numbing cream/Emla Patch?

Please visit Emla skin numbing cream and skin numbing patch pages for more information.

Does Emla have any side effects?

Like any other medication Emla may have some unwanted side effects. In case you experience any side effects, stop using immediately and consult your healthcare professional.

What should I do in case of overdose?

If you suspect an overdose, call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 or seek urgent medical attention at your nearest hospital.


Can I use Emla on open wounds?

Do not apply Emla cream to any open wounds (except leg ulcers).

Can I use Emla for laser hair or tattoo removal?

Emla creams and patches can significantly help reduce the pain of minor superficial cosmetic procedures. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice on whether this product will be suitable for you.

Can I use Emla if I am pregnant?

Speak with your healthcare professional before using Emla if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant – they can advise on the risks and benefits of using this medicine. The ingredients in Emla have been used for many years and no ill effects have been shown if they are used while you are pregnant.

Can I use Emla if I am breastfeeding?

Speak with your healthcare professional if you are considering using Emla while breastfeeding – they can advise on what is best for you.

Only very small amounts of Emla get into the blood so even though your baby can take in Emla from breast milk if you are breastfeeding, it is unlikely to cause any problems.

Is Emla recommended for premature babies?

Do not use Emla for premature babies (<37 weeks gestational age).

Is Emla safe to be used after its expiry date?

Do not use Emla after its expiry date. If you have an expired Emla product, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.

Do I need to see my doctor or pharmacist before using Emla?

You must tell your doctor or pharmacist about any of these: Allergies you or your child have to any

  • Emla ingredients
  • Local anaesthetic, for example those used at the dentist
  • Adhesives or sticking plasters

It may not be safe for you or your child to use Emla if you have certain medical conditions. Tell your pharmacist if you have any medical conditions before using Emla. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice on whether this product will be suitable for you. 


How long does it take for Emla to work?

The time it takes for Emla to work will vary depending on age, skin area and the procedure; for most indications, apply Emla at least one hour before you are due to have the procedure except for:

– Procedures on male genital skin: 15 minutes prior to procedure is required
– Leg ulcer cleaning: 30 minutes prior to procedure
– Skin grafting: two hour application time prior to procedure is required

How much Emla cream should I apply?

The amount of Emla cream required varies and will depend on the procedure, the surface being treated and your age. For more information on application times and doses, please consult the consumer information leaflet and your health care professional.


How should I store Emla cream?

Store Emla cream in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C. Do not let it freeze. Keep the cream or patches in the pack until it is time to use them. If used on leg ulcers, only use the tube once. Throw out any cream left in the tube after use.

How should I store Emla patch?

Keep Emla patches in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C. Do not let them freeze.

Where to buy

Where can I buy Emla?

Emla is available in most leading pharmacies such as Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Terry White Chemmart, and in a large number of independent pharmacies. To find your closest retailer visit our store finder page.