Objective: To evaluate the role of a new formulation of lidocaine (ELA-max) in local anesthesia in children and compare it with the eutectic mixture of local anesthetics (EMLA).
Data sources: Relevant literature was identified by a MEDLINE search (1966-November 2003) using the search terms ELA-max and EMLA. Bibliographies of selected articles were also examined to include all relevant investigations. The product manufacturer was contacted for inclusion of the most recent data available.
Data synthesis: Topical anesthesia in children is clinically challenging. ELA-max has been shown to be as effective as EMLA for venipuncture in children, but with faster onset. Adverse effects, such as transient blanching with redness and erythema, have been reported.
Conclusions: Further investigation is needed to determine the effectiveness of ELA-max on other painful procedures in children, as well as its safety.