EMLA cream vs 10% lidocaine cream for attenuating venous cannulation pain – a clinical trial

  • Oluwayemisi Bamidele Oluwadun
  • Oyebola Olubodun Adekola
  • Olufemi I.O. Dada
  • Simeon O. Olanipekun
  • Adebayo Sulaimon Adetunji
  • John Olutola Olatosi
  • Olushola Temitayo Kushimo
Keywords: Venous cannulation pain, 10% lidocaine, EMLA, VAS, VRS, Side effects


Background: Venous cannulation is a painful procedure that is associated with anxiety, distress and discomfort. But pain is frequently overlooked in adults.

Aims and Objective: We compared the efficacy of 5% EMLA cream and 10% lidocaine cream in attenuating pain associated with peripheral venous cannulation.

Methods: This prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 102 ASA I and II adults scheduled for elective surgery. They were randomly allocated by blind balloting to one of three groups: group E had 1.5 mL of EMLA cream, group L 1.5 mL of 10% lidocaine cream, and group P 1.5 mL KY gel. All cream was applied over a visible vein for 60 min with occlusive dressing. Pain was evaluated using visual analogue scale (VAS) and verbal rating scale (VRS).

Results: The mean VAS score was significantly lower with either EMLA cream (2.62±1.76 cm) or 10% lidocaine cream (1.85±1.58 cm) than with placebo (4.78 ±1.88 cm), p<0.001. Most patients who received EMLA cream (76.5%) or 10% lidocaine cream (70.6%) compared with placebo (55.9%) had mild pain during cannulation using VRS.

Conclusion: The eutectic mixture of local anesthetic cream and lidocaine cream attenuated pain associated with peripheral venous cannulation to varying degrees.

Keywords: Venous cannulation pain, 10% lidocaine, EMLA, VAS, VRS, Side effects


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2523-0816
print ISSN: 1999-9674