Anesthetic Cream prior to Allergy Shots?

Nurses General Nursing


Hello fellow nurses! I am currently a nurse working at an allergy/immunology clinic. As you all know, administering injection to children under 12 is not a walk in the park, even though after the first few they usually get accustomed. But there are always those few who give trouble and complain about pain and/or burning sensation. Has anybody ever applied anesthetic cream such as EMLA (Lidocaine/Prilocaine) prior to giving injection? If so when exactly do you apply and has it been effective?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I have used it prior to starting IV or accessing port in chest, but not for allergy shots. For one thing, EMLA takes 45 miniutes or longer to become effective. The allergy needle is very small and in less than a few seconds the discomfort resolves on its own. Plus, bradycardia can occur with EMLA if used on babies. I think it makes more sense to have a boo-boo pillow (ice pack) and get the job over with.

What about a buzzy? I hear they're really good :)


6 Posts

Thank you, I figured you need at least 30 min for it to take effect.


6 Posts

Wow this is an awesome alternative! I showed the doctor and he loved it, we will be trying it out. Thanks a lot!

I used to work in an allergy/asthma/immunology clinic mostly in the shot room giving injections. We never used EMLA cream or anything. I do know that some nurses would tell the parents to put an ice pack on their arm for about 15 minutes before they get there to help numb up the area. The other thing that we would do is ask our physician if we could add saline (usually 0.10 ml) to the syringe to help with the burning.

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