EMLA Cream

Order a prescription for EMLA Cream or collect it from your nearest pharmacy.

Pack of 1 30g tube of 25mg lidocaine 25mg prilocaine per gram EMLA 5% cream topical anaesthesia

EMLA cream is a topical anaesthetic (numbing) cream which can be used to treat premature ejaculation. It makes the penis less sensitive, which can delay ejaculation and make sex last longer.

EMLA cream is available from ZAVA, and ordering treatment is quick and easy. We also offer a fast, free, and discreet delivery service.

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What is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation (PE) is when ejaculation happens sooner than you or your partner(s) would like during sex. It’s one of the most common ejaculation problems in men.

PE usually isn’t related to serious health problems, but it can be frustrating or distressing, especially if it makes sex less enjoyable, or it affects your relationship(s) with your partner(s).

PE happening every now and then is common. But, if you're finding that around half or more of your attempts at sex result in PE, it might help to think about treatment.

What causes premature ejaculation?

The causes of premature ejaculation can be related to a number of reasons. They can be either physical or psychological, and include:

How do I use EMLA cream for premature ejaculation?

  • Wash your hands before using the cream
  • Start by using a pea-sized amount
  • Apply the cream to the head of the penis (glans) around 15 to 20 minutes before intercourse
  • Don’t rub the cream in
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the cream
  • You should get rid of extra cream from your penis before sex – this will help you avoid numbing your hands or your partner
  • You can slowly increase the amount you use, but you should talk to your doctor about how much you should use, and whether this amount is having the right effect

When using EMLA cream, don’t:

  • use EMLA on an open wound (a cut or sore)
  • use large amounts of EMLA or use it over a large area of skin – too much anaesthetic may be absorbed into the blood, which can be dangerous
  • get EMLA in your eyes, because this can cause something called corneal abrasion. If this does happen, wash your eyes with saline solution (sometimes used for contact lenses) if you have any, and get medical help as soon as possible
  • scratch or itch your penis after applying the cream
  • apply EMLA in your back passage (anus)

Please note that delaying premature ejaculation is an ‘off-label’ use of EMLA.

All medications we offer are fully licensed within the UK. Some medications, like this one, we prescribe for conditions or circumstances that are outside of the licence (also known as ‘off-label’). Prescribing ‘off-label’ is common practice by healthcare professionals to ensure a medication can safely benefit as many patients as possible. This is always based on updated information and evidence since the product first became available.

Who can use EMLA?

EMLA cream can be used by adult men who are having premature ejaculation, as long as a doctor has checked that it’s safe and suitable to use.

Don’t use EMLA if you:

  • don’t have the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in your blood (G6PD deficiency)
  • have methemoglobinemia (red blood cell disorder)
  • have anaemia
  • are taking medications that can cause anaemia or methemoglobinemia
  • are taking medication to treat an irregular heartbeat, like amiodarone
  • have atopic dermatitis (eczema) on your penis or genital area

It’s important to tell your doctor if you have a condition or other medications that affect EMLA treatment. Our doctors at ZAVA will be able to let you know if treatment is right for you.

Tell your doctor if you’re taking:

  • other local anaesthetics, like benzocaine
  • medications used to treat epilepsy, like phenobarbital and phenytoin
  • medications used to treat infections, including ‘sulphonamide’ antibiotics and nitrofurantoin
  • beta-blockers
  • cimetidine

Your doctor needs to know if you’re taking any other anaesthetics. The effects of these anaesthetics will combine together and may cause severe side effects.

If you’re taking another medication which also lists 'methemoglobinemia' as a risk or side effect, then tell your doctor. Taking two medications like these together can increase health risks.

If you’ve ever had problems with an irregular heartbeat, or you’re taking medication for this (such as amiodarone), tell your doctor. Using EMLA together with these medications may affect your heart, especially if you use too much EMLA.

How does EMLA affect having sex?

EMLA should improve having sex if it’s used properly and if it works for you. It shouldn’t have any negative effects, if you don’t use too much or leave it on too long.

One thing to note is that EMLA Cream is oil-based, which means it can affect latex condoms, making them more likely to break. Wiping off any extra EMLA from your penis before putting the condom on should make this less likely. But, if you’re still worried and want to be extra safe, use another form of contraception.

Uncommon and rare side effects

Uncommon side effects of EMLA:

  • Severe skin irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Tingling sensation

The following side effects are rare, but very serious:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Pale, bluish skin around the mouth and lips
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • A fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Mood changes, like confusion or nervousness
  • Seizures
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Blisters on the skin on the penis

It’s very important that if you get serious side effects, you wash off the cream and get medical help right away.

Make sure you check if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients in EMLA cream before trying it out. It’s possible for a small number of people to get a severe allergic reaction to EMLA cream. If you see any signs like a severe rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the tongue, eyelids, or face, stop using EMLA cream and get medical help right away.

How to order your EMLA cream online

The process is quick and easy – just follow these simple steps:

  • Fill out a short online questionnaire
  • One of our doctors at ZAVA will check your order and prescribe EMLA cream if it’s suitable for you
  • Your medication will be sent out from our on-site pharmacy. It can then be posted to your preferred address or you can collect it from a local post office instead

Active ingredient

EMLA cream contains two active ingredients:

  • Lidocaine
  • Prilocaine

Other ingredients in EMLA cream are:

  • Macrogolglycerol hydroxystearate
  • Carbomer 974P
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Water purified

Common side effects

Common side effects that you may experience when using EMLA cream include:

  • itchiness
  • redness
  • burning sensation
  • lightening of your skin
  • a warm sensation

EMLA cream also contains macrogolglycerol hydroxystearate, which may cause skin reactions.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos

Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos graduated from the University of London in 2006. He did his postgraduate training in hospitals in the London area, and he trained for four years in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery before completing his training in General practice in 2015.

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Last reviewed: 04 Apr 2019