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Local anaesthetic creams 

Local anaesthetic creams
Chapter:
Local anaesthetic creams
Author(s):

Argyro Fassoulaki

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198834359.003.0013
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date: 04 December 2020

Using topical anaesthesia before puncturing veins and arteries or inserting needles in the epidural space is a prerequisite for ameliorating pain elicited by the insertion of needles or catheters. In the eighties, Hanks and White published an article in which they described a number of local anaesthetic creams which were beginning to be used to prevent pain due to needle punctures; in particular, they described an anaesthetic cream called EMLA, which contained a eutectic mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine. The use of this cream was particularly welcome in children. Although, eventually, newer formulations based on new technology were prepared, EMLA remains the gold standard to which the new formulations are compared. EMLA has also been used for relief of neuropathic pain. The article by Hanks and White stands the test of time in describing the EMLA formulation early in its appearance.

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