Use of a eutectic mixture of local anesthetics for prolonged subcutaneous drug administration

M. Berkovitch, S. Davis, D. Matsui, J. Donsky, G. Koren*, N. F. Olivieri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The efficacy of a eutectic mixture of local anesthetics (EMLA) in alleviating the pain associated with subcutaneous needle insertion for infusion of the iron-chelating agent, deferoxamine, was examined in 12 patients with homozygous β-thalassemia. As reported by the patient using a 100-mm visual analogue scale, the pain of insertion was rated as significantly less after application of EMLA (mean ± SD, 1.5 ± 2.2 mm) than the pain associated with needle insertion without EMLA (34.8 ± 33.5 mm, P = .005). Subsequently, in a double-blind randomized trial of 10 β-thalassemia patients. EMLA was significantly better (5.7 ± 8.2 mm) than placebo (27.0 ± 22.8 mm, P = .01) in reducing the pain of needle insertion for deferoxamine infusion. No adverse effects were reported with the use of EMLA cream. These results suggest that EMLA may be effective in reducing the pain associated with needle insertion for subcutaneous deferoxamine infusion in β- thalassemia patients, which may lead to improved compliance with this irritating, prolonged therapy. The safety of EMLA use in these patients, and others receiving regular parenteral therapy, should now be examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-297
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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