[The EMLA cream versus placebo in MMR vaccination of older children in general practice]

Ugeskr Laeger. 1993 Jul 19;155(29):2263-5.
[Article in Danish]


We investigated the effect of EMLA cream (active ingredients: 25 mg lidocaine and 25 mg prilocaine per gram of cream) on subjective experience of pain in connection with vaccination. The study was conducted as a double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled trial in a general practice setting. The subjects were ten to fifteen year-olds, who were due to be inoculated with measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Of the 118 children entering the trial, 117 completed the treatment (EMLA 58, placebo 59). Treatment time was at least 60 minutes for all children. The children reported similar degrees of pain immediately after vaccination in both groups, one third of both treatment and placebo groups reporting medium to strong pain (not significant). On the day after vaccination, more than half the families (59%) said that they would use the cream again in connection with future vaccinations; again, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in this respect. Based on these results, we conclude that use of EMLA cream as a topical local anaesthetic does not reduce the experience of pain in connection with the administration of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to older children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous / adverse effects
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Lidocaine, Prilocaine Drug Combination
  • Male
  • Measles Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Mumps Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Placebos
  • Prilocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage*


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Drug Combinations
  • Lidocaine, Prilocaine Drug Combination
  • Measles Vaccine
  • Mumps Vaccine
  • Placebos
  • Rubella Vaccine
  • Prilocaine
  • Lidocaine