Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey: Patient Care home Penn State Hershey: Education home Penn State Hershey: Research home Penn State Hershey: Community home
Penn State Hershey Health Information Library
  Library Home
  Find A Physician
  Find A Practice
  Request An Appointment
  Search Clinical Studies
  Classes and Support Groups
  Ask A Health Librarian
  Subscribe to eNewsletters

Penn State Hershey Health Information Centers
  Bone and Joint

        Follow Us

Topical anesthetic (On the skin)

Treats pain in a certain body area. Also used to numb (decrease feeling in) an area before a procedure.

Brand Name(s):

1st Relief Topical Spray, 7T Lido Gel, ACTIVE-PAC with Gabapentin, Accucaine, Actisep, Advanced DNA Medicated Collection Kit, Advanced DNA Medicated Collection Kit II, Advanced DNA Medicated Collection Kit III, Advocate Aftertest Topical Pain Relief Stick, AgonEaze, Americaine, Anacaine, Anastia, Anbesol, Anbesol Maximum Strength

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to any numbing medicine in the past, such as lidocaine or benzocaine. You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the ingredients in the medicine you are using.

How to Use This Medicine:

Spray, Ointment, Gel/Jelly, Cream, Liquid, Soap, Lotion, Swab, Dressing, Pad, Patch

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • The medicine may come with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Do not get this medicine in your eyes, nose, or ears. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away. Some forms of this medicine should not be used on broken skin or inside the vagina or rectum. If you are not sure of the body areas where you can use this medicine, ask your pharmacist.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine. Follow your doctor's instructions about how to clean and care for your skin before and after you use this medicine.
  • For the cream, lotion, or ointment: Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently. You may need to shake the bottle of liquid, spray, or lotion before using it.
  • This medicine may come with a special applicator (a tool for applying the medicine), or with a special dressing to go over the medicine. Make sure you understand how to use the applicator or dressing. If you are not sure, ask your pharmacist.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you are using this medicine on a regular schedule: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not put in the refrigerator, and do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of the medicine container and any leftover or expired medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Topical anesthetic medicines have different ingredients, depending on the type and brand of medicine it is. The drugs or food you may need to avoid depends on the specific topical anesthetic medicine you are using. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breast feeding, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Some forms of this medicine should not be used in children under the age of 2 years old, unless a doctor says it is OK.
  • Do not use this medicine for more than 7 days unless your doctor or dentist tells you to.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness, or drowsiness.
  • Chest pain, or an uneven heartbeat.
  • Skin rash.
  • Swelling in the area where this medicine is applied.
  • Trembling (shaking).

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Skin irritation, itching, redness, or pain.
  • Symptoms that do not improve in 7 days, or symptoms that get worse.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.