Does a local anaesthetic cream (EMLA) alleviate pain from heel-lancing in neonates?

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1995 Nov;39(8):1028-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.1995.tb04223.x.


EMLA cream is an effective local anaesthetic agent for venipunctures in adults and children. The aim of this double-blind, randomised, and placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the effect of EMLA when heel-lancing was performed in neonates. On their third day of life, fullterm healthy infants, who underwent testing for phenylketonuria (PKU) by heel-lancing, were consecutively included in the study. One hundred and twelve neonates were allocated to eight groups according to the application time of EMLA or placebo (10 to 120 minutes). Thus in each group seven infants received active substance and seven placebo. The response to the nociceptive stimulation was assessed by studying the occurrence of a pain cry. No analgesic effect of EMLA was found. There were no adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Heel
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lidocaine / adverse effects
  • Lidocaine / therapeutic use*
  • Lidocaine, Prilocaine Drug Combination
  • Male
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Prilocaine / adverse effects
  • Prilocaine / therapeutic use*


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Drug Combinations
  • Lidocaine, Prilocaine Drug Combination
  • Prilocaine
  • Lidocaine