How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This is a combination medication that contains lidocaine and tetracaine. It belongs to the class of medications called topical anaesthetics. This medication is used to numb intact skin before certain dermatological (skin) procedures. It is used before laser therapies, such as hair removal, facial resurfacing, tattoo removal, or treatment of varicose veins. It may also be used before insertion of needles into veins.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each gram of cream contains 70 mg of lidocaine (7%) and 70 mg of tetracaine (7%). Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium hydrogen phosphate (anhydrous), methylparaben, paraffin (white, soft), polyvinyl alcohol, propylparaben, purified water, and sorbitan monopalmitate.
How should I use this medication?
If the procedure is not very painful, lidocaine - tetracaine should be applied to the area to be treated for 20 to 30 minutes before. If the procedure is more painful, it should be applied for 60 minutes before. The amount of cream estimated to cover the affected area should be measured out of the tube. Use a flat-surfaced tool such a metal spatula or tongue depressor to spread the cream evenly and thinly over the area to be treated.
After waiting for the cream to dry and form a peel, remove the peel from the skin and dispose of the peel safely. Use gauze to wipe away any cream or peel that does not come off the skin easily. Dispose of the removed peel safely. There is enough medication remaining in the dried film to harm a child or pet. Wash your hands immediately after removing and disposing the peel. This medication will cause numbness to the applied area. It is important to protect this area from scratches and potential causes of burning or freezing until the numbness has stopped.
Although lidocaine - tetracaine is applied to the skin, enough medication can be absorbed to cause side effects. Do not apply this medication to open wounds, irritated skin, or mucous membranes (e.g., inside the mouth or nose). It should not be applied too close to the eyes or inside the ear.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. This medication should be applied only once before the procedure and the treatment area needs to fully heal before reapplying the cream.
Store this medication in the refrigerator and protect from freezing. Keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to lidocaine, tetracaine or any ingredients of the medication
- are allergic to PABA
- have methemoglobinemia
- are treating large areas of the body (more than 400 cm²)
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- redness or discoloration where the cream was applied
- sore throat
- tingling in the arms and legs
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- pain, irritation, or burning where the medication was applied
- peeling skin
- swelling, including face and eyelids
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Liver problems: Reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Methemoglobinemia: Methemoglobinemia is a potentially fatal condition where the red blood cells are not able to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body. Lidocaine can cause methemoglobinemia and make symptoms of methemoglobinemia worse. People with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency may be more likely to experience this complication of the use of lidocaine.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Lidocaine passes into breast milk. It is not known if tetracaine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under the age of 18. The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for use before or after vaccinations.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between lidocaine - tetracaine and any of the following:
- nitrates (e.g., isosorbide dinitrate, nitroglycerin)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2024. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Pliaglis