EMLA cream can help you last longer during sex by reducing how sensitive your penis is. EMLA cream contains 2 local anaesthetics that make it an effective treatment for premature ejaculation.(4)
EMLA cream is a numbing cream made by AstraZeneca and contains 2 local anaesthetics called prilocaine and lidocaine. You can use a small amount of EMLA cream on your penis to reduce sensitivity 30 minutes before you have sex.
EMLA cream is a suitable alternative if you cannot take tablets, such as Priligy, to treat premature ejaculation.
You can get EMLA cream in 5g or 30g tubes from Asda Online Doctor by filling out a confidential online questionnaire. One of our doctors will then check if EMLA cream is right for you. Choose delivery to your home address or collect your EMLA cream from a nearby Asda Pharmacy.
How to use EMLA cream
To use EMLA cream, you apply up to 1 gram (1g) to the shaft and head of your penis around 20 to 30 minutes before you want to have sex.
As a quick reference guide, 1g of EMLA cream is about 3.5cm (an inch and a half) of cream squeezed out of a tube of EMLA cream. Remember to wash your hands after you apply EMLA cream to stop your hands and fingers from going numb.
EMLA cream can numb your partner’s genitals too, so wipe off any cream that has not been absorbed before you have sex. Wiping off extra cream will also help make it easier to put on a condom or apply any lubricant before sex.
You should not use EMLA on recently shaved skin.
What to do if you use too much EMLA cream
If you use too much EMLA cream, there’s a chance that the anaesthetics will be absorbed into your blood and cause side effects.
You may feel these side effects if you use too much EMLA cream:
- tingling sensation on your tongue or around your mouth
- strange taste in your mouth
- finding it difficult to see properly
- ringing in your ears
Speak to a doctor if you get any of these side effects and tell them how much EMLA cream you used. If you have difficulty breathing, feel faint (due to low blood pressure) or experience seizures, call 999 immediately.
EMLA cream is made of a mixture of 2 local anaesthetics, lidocaine and prilocaine, which numb your skin. You can use EMLA to treat premature ejaculation (PE) by applying it to the skin on your penis.
Premature ejaculation is when you ejaculate (come) too soon. This can be caused by physical or psychological problems, or a combination of the two.
If you have erectile dysfunction, this can also cause premature ejaculation. So before trying EMLA cream, speak to a doctor at Asda Online Doctor to treat the cause of your erectile dysfunction.
You can only use EMLA cream for premature ejaculation if a doctor prescribes it specifically for you. This is because EMLA cream is used ‘off label’, but there is enough medical research to support its use as a treatment for premature ejaculation.
EMLA cream works by having 2 local anaesthetics, lidocaine and prilocaine, that numb the skin on your penis. By making your penis less sensitive, you can slow down how quickly you ejaculate.
When you apply EMLA cream 3 things happen:
- Lidocaine and prilocaine in EMLA cream are absorbed into the outer layers of your penis skin.
- These skin layers contain pain receptors and nerve endings that are blocked by EMLA cream to reduce how sensitive your penis is.
- After about 30 minutes, you can have sex without feeling like you need to ejaculate straight away.
You can use EMLA cream if:
- you have premature ejaculation
- you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in EMLA cream
- your doctor has prescribed it specifically for you
Premature ejaculation means ejaculating within a short period of time after you start sexual intercourse.
Before you use EMLA cream, you can try to reduce the sensitivity of your penis and prevent premature ejaculation by:
- using a thicker condom
- taking breaks during sex
If you find that you’re ejaculating too quickly during sex, you can try EMLA cream or Priligy tablets from Asda Online Doctor.
You might get side effects when you use EMLA cream, but they are usually mild and go away on their own. You can always speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice if you want to learn more about EMLA cream.
Common side effects of EMLA cream include:
- skin reactions such as redness, paleness or swelling
- a feeling of slight burning or itching
Less common side effects of EMLA cream include:
- numbness or a tingling sensation
- skin irritation
You can read the patient information leaflet inside your pack of EMLA cream or click below for more details:
Contraindications and who should not use EMLA cream
EMLA cream might not be suitable for you, so speak to a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist, if you:
- are allergic to any of the ingredients in EMLA cream
- are allergic to any anaesthetics
- have a rare blood condition called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDD)
- have methaemoglobinaemia
- have eczema (atopic dermatitis) or other skin conditions
You should avoid applying EMLA to areas of skin that have rashes, cuts, grazes or open wounds.
Interactions with other medicines
EMLA might interact with other medicines you’re using at the moment. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re currently taking:
- heart arrhythmia treatment, such as amiodarone
- antibiotics, such as sulfadiazine (a sulphonamide) or nitrofurantoin
- epilepsy treatment, such as phenytoin or phenobarbital
- cimetidine, for stomach ulcers
- Beta-blockers, such as bisoprolol, to treat heart conditions
What are the active ingredients in EMLA cream?
The active ingredients in EMLA cream are 2.5% lidocaine and 2.5% prilocaine. This means in 1g of EMLA cream, there is 25mg of lidocaine and 25mg of prilocaine.
The other ingredients in EMLA cream are macrogolglycerol hydroxystearate, carbomer 974P, sodium hydroxide and purified water.
If you have an allergy or hypersensitivity to any of these ingredients please speak to your doctor for advice before using EMLA cream.
Check the patient information leaflet for the most up to date details on the ingredients of EMLA cream.
How should EMLA cream be disposed of?
To dispose of EMLA cream, take your full or partially used tube to your local pharmacy. Do not throw away your EMLA cream in the bin unless the tube is empty.
How should EMLA cream be stored?
You should store EMLA cream in its original tube and box, in a safe place away from children and animals.
What does EMLA cream look like?
EMLA cream looks like a white cream and is soft to touch.
In which pack sizes is EMLA cream available?
EMLA cream is available in a 5g tube or 30g tube.
Information on the manufacturer
The company that holds the marketing authorisation of EMLA cream is Aspen Pharma Trading Limited, 3016 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, Ireland.
EMLA cream is manufactured by AstraZeneca AB, S-151 85, Södertälje, Sweden or AstraZeneca UK Limited, Silk Road Business Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 2NA, UK.
Dr Kathryn Basford
Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.Meet our doctors
Article created: 04 Oct 2021
Last reviewed: 04 Oct 2019
5g pack https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.871.pdf [Reviewed 02/2021, accessed 08/2021]
30g pack https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.7994.pdf [Reviewed 02/2021, accessed 08/2021]
https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/can-premature-ejaculation-be-controlled/ [Reviewed 07/2020, accessed 08/2021]
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26599522/ [Published 04/2016, accessed 08/2021]
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1439-0272.2002.00511.x [Published 2002, accessed 08/2021]
(Reviews are for ZAVA UK)