EMLA Cream

EMLA Cream

Applied just 20 minutes before sex, EMLA can numb your penis, helping delay ejaculation and increase how long you last in bed.

In stock
from £14.50

Product details

EMLA cream is an effective treatment for premature ejaculation in men. It contains two numbing agents known as lidocaine and prilocaine, which reduce the feeling on the skin of your penis to help you last longer during sex. It starts working in just 15 to 20 minutes.

Dr Clair Grainger

Medically reviewed by

Dr Clair Grainger

Last reviewed: 03 Apr 2022

Emla cream prices

Pack Size Price
25 mg - 5 g tube(s) £14.50
25 mg - 30 g tube(s) £29.00

How it Works

About EMLA Cream for Premature Ejaculation

What is EMLA cream?

EMLA is a topical anaesthetic, or numbing cream, which can be used to help men who experience premature ejaculation last longer by decreasing sensation around the penis before sex.

EMLA cream can also be used for numbing the skin when doing minor procedures like medical injections or getting a tattoo.

Healthcare professionals may use EMLA cream for both children and adults before minor medical or surgical procedures, taking blood, or putting in cannulas and catheters.

What are the ingredients in EMLA cream?

1 gram of EMLA cream contains the active ingredients of 25mg of lidocaine and 25mg of prilocaine, which are local anaesthetic agents. Other ingredients in EMLA cream include macrogolglycerol hydroxystearate, Carbomer 974P, sodium hydroxide and purified water.

What is an 'off label' treatment?

EMLA cream is an 'off label' treatment for premature ejaculation. This is when a medication is used for something different to what it was originally licensed for. This is a common practice by healthcare professionals to ensure a medication can safely benefit as many patients as possible. Off-label prescribing is always based on updated information and evidence since the product first became available. Every medication we provide is fully licensed within the UK.

How does EMLA cream work?

When you apply EMLA cream on your penis before sex, it helps to reduce feeling, so you can last longer and delay ejaculation.

EMLA cream will benefit men who experience premature ejaculation because they have an oversensitive penis.

EMLA cream contains two local anaesthetic agents, lidocaine and prilocaine, which work on the nerves around the skin where you apply the cream. They temporarily stop the nerves from sending signals about sensation to the brain, so you barely feel anything around that area of skin.

How long does EMLA cream last?

For treating premature ejaculation, you should apply EMLA cream for about 15 minutes and wash it off before sex. Its numbing effects usually lasts for about 2 hours but depending on where and for how long it is applied, the effects could wear off quicker.

How long does EMLA cream take to work?

When using EMLA cream to treat premature ejaculation, you should apply it on the penis for about 15 minutes before sex, to give it time to work.

How effective is EMLA cream?

According to clinical studies, using local anaesthetic agents like EMLA cream can be very effective in treating premature ejaculation, and can help men last up to 6 times longer. Previous users have reported improved control with ejaculation and increased sexual satisfaction.

How to use EMLA cream

EMLA cream can be used for several reasons when you need to numb an area of the skin because it works as a local anaesthetic agent.

How and where you should apply EMLA cream, how much to apply, and for how long, will depend on what you are using it for. The patient information leaflet supplied with EMLA cream contains specific instructions on how to use it for different procedures.

In general, when using EMLA cream:

  • wash your hands before and after applying the cream
  • do not apply the cream on cuts or grazes
  • do not apply the cream on skin areas with rash or eczema
  • do not apply the cream in the mouth, nose, ears and eyes

How to apply EMLA cream for premature ejaculation

You can use EMLA cream to treat premature ejaculation, in the following steps:

  1. apply the cream about 15 minutes before sex
  2. pull back the foreskin (if present)
  3. use the tip of your finger to apply a pea size amount of EMLA cream on the head and neck areas of the penis
  4. wash your hands
  5. after 15 minutes and before sex, wash the cream off the penis to avoid reducing your partner’s sensation during sex

If you have any questions about using EMLA cream for premature ejaculation, speak to our doctors or your local pharmacist for advice.

How to buy EMLA cream

Can I buy EMLA cream online?

You can buy EMLA cream online from UK regulated pharmacies like Superdrug Online Doctor. Simply complete our short medical form for our doctors to review and check if it is suitable for you.

Can I buy EMLA cream over the counter?

EMLA cream is a prescription free medicine, so you do not need a doctor’s prescription to get it. You can buy EMLA cream over the counter from any Superdrug pharmacy. You can also order EMLA cream online from Superdrug Online Doctor.

Can I get EMLA cream on the NHS?

You may be able to get EMLA cream for free on the NHS for medical procedures if you are eligible. To treat premature ejaculation, speak to your GP to find out if you can get EMLA cream for free on the NHS where you live.

EMLA side effects

Like all medicines, you may experience side effects when using EMLA cream, but not everyone gets them.

Some common EMLA cream side effects may include:

  • brief local skin reactions where the cream is applied, (including paleness, redness and swelling)
  • mild burning or itching on the area where the cream is applied

Some uncommon/rare EMLA cream side effects may include:

  • allergic reactions to EMLA cream
  • a blood disorder known as methaemoglobinaemia, causing low oxygen levels in the blood
  • A skin rash 
  • eye irritation (if the cream gets into your eyes)

The common side effects of local skin reactions usually disappear after a short while, but if they don’t or cause you discomfort, speak to your doctor for advice.

If you experience any unusual side effects when using EMLA cream, stop using it and speak to your doctor as soon as possible. The full list of all known EMLA cream side effects and cautions are in the patient information leaflet supplied with your medicine.

If you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction when using EMLA cream, stop using it and seek medical attention immediately. Some allergic reactions may develop into an anaphylactic shock which could be life threatening.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction for which you should seek urgent medical attention include:

  • skin rash, redness and swelling
  • facial swelling
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest tightness
  • fainting

EMLA cream warning

EMLA cream may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions or people who are taking medicines which may interact with EMLA cream.

Do not use EMLA cream if you are:

  • allergic to lidocaine, prilocaine or similar local anaesthetic agents
  • allergic to any of the other ingredients in EMLA cream

Tell your doctor before using EMLA cream if you:

  • are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to be pregnant
  • have a rare condition that affects the blood known as ‘glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency’
  • have a blood disorder known as methaemoglobinaemia, that causes low oxygen levels in the blood
  • have irregular heartbeats and take medicines like amiodarone
  • have atopic dermatitis

EMLA cream and other medicines

Before using EMLA cream, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines including medicines bought over the counter and herbal medicines.

Some medicines may affect how EMLA cream works, and EMLA cream may also affect how some medicines work.

The following medicines may interact with EMLA cream:

  • antibiotics such as nitrofurantoin and sulphonamides
  • medicines for treating irregular heartbeats like amiodarone
  • antiepileptic medicines like phenytoin
  • other types of local anaesthetic agents
  • beta-blockers or cimetidine which increase the blood levels of lidocaine (may not interact if using EMLA cream for short-term treatment)

EMLA cream and Viagra

EMLA cream is an effective treatment for men who experience premature ejaculation, while Viagra is mainly used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

There is no evidence that EMLA cream interacts negatively with Viagra, and these medications can be used at the same time.

EMLA cream and alcohol

Drinking alcohol should not affect how EMLA cream works but drinking too much alcohol may cause sexual problems including erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

EMLA cream alternatives

Other alternatives to EMLA cream for treating premature ejaculation include medications like Priligy. Priligy is available as tablets and contains the active ingredient dapoxetine.

Priligy is taken 1-3 hours before sex, and it helps men last longer and have better control over when they ejaculate.

Unlike EMLA cream, Priligy is not available over the counter as it is a prescription only medicine. You will need to get a doctor’s prescription to buy Priligy. You can get a prescription for Priligy from Superdrug Online doctor if this is suitable for you, after a brief online consultation with our doctors.


Efficacy and safety of local anaesthetics for premature ejaculation: a systematic review and meta-analysis (May 2013) NCBI [accessed 31 October 2021]

Ejaculation problems (July 2019) NHS [accessed 31 October 2021]

EMLA cream (May 2017)  EMC [accessed 31 October 2021]

Lidocaine skin cream (October 2019) NHS [accessed 31 October 2021]

Lidocaine with prilocaine NICE [accessed 31 October 2021]

Premature ejaculation NICE [accessed 31 October 2021]

Premature ejaculation (August 2017) Patient info [accessed 31 October 2021]

Patient Reviews