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Adverse effects of EMLA (lidocaine/prilocaine) cream and efficacy for the placement of jugular catheters in hospitalized cats.

Author(s): Wagner KA, Gibbon KJ, Strom TL, Kurian JR, Trepanier LA

Affiliation(s): Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine, 53706-1102, USA.

Publication date & source: 2006-04, J Feline Med Surg., 8(2):141-4. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

EMLA is a lidocaine/prilocaine cream used for topical analgesia in human pediatric patients. The purpose of this study was to establish the safety of EMLA in clinically ill cats, to measure systemic absorption and to determine whether EMLA reduced the need for sedation for the placement of jugular catheters. Thirty-one cats were randomized to either a placebo or EMLA cream group. Cream was applied to a 10 cm(2) area over the jugular vein, with 1h of occlusive dressing. Neither anesthetic was systemically absorbed in any cat, and no adverse clinical signs were observed. Struggling during catheter placement was less in the EMLA-treated cats compared to placebo, but did not reach significance (P = 0.06). Jugular catheters were successfully placed in 60% of EMLA-treated cats and 38% of placebo cats; this difference was not statistically significant and may not justify the added steps of EMLA cream administration for this purpose. However, EMLA does appear to be safe in clinically ill cats, and may be useful for other applications such as for skin mass removal or repeated venepuncture.

Page last updated: 2006-11-05

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