LMX-5 Cream (lidocaine in concentrations of 5%) is a topical anesthetic cream. It also has a 4% version. This may be the solution to hair removal pain for you, or it may not. Some people swear by it; others say it does nothing for them. I am firmly in the camp of LMX-5 fans, but I do think it is sometimes overhyped. I have very rarely experienced 100% anesthesia from topical anesthetics like LMX-5. However, it does an excellent job of taking the edge off the pain for me, and that’s all I really want.
A pain medication which works perfectly for one consumer may not work at all for another.
I make absolutely no guarantee that any product mentioned in this section will work for you or will work better or worse for you than another product.
For details, see my Pain management intro page.
On 10 January 2002, I received a letter from Stephen Kingsley, Marketing Manager, Specialty Products at Ferndale Laboratories:
I would like to comment on the letters about LMX-5 listed under Pain Management Tips. I agree that pain is a very subjective experience, however the most common reason for topical anesthetics failing is due to improper use by the customer. 99% of the problems we encounter are due to improper preparation of the skin prior to applying LMX-5 or customers applying it too thin.
You must not use any organic-based cleaners to clean the skin before applying LMX-5. Mild soap and water is recommended. Organic cleaners will strip the naturally occurring oils from the skin that are required for LMX-5 to absorb into the skin. You can use anything to clean the skin only AFTER you have removed LMX-5 (just prior to beginning the procedure). In addition, all topical anesthetics must be applied in a thick layer to be effective (think cake frosting). People are tempted to apply it lightly because it is not inexpensive. Unfortunately, a light application will not give you the desired result. I would be happy to answer any questions that visitors to your site may have about LMX-5 personally. Please feel free to refer them to my phone number and/or e-mail address listed below.
From their labeling:
The onset, depth and duration of dermal analgesia provided by LMX-5 Cream depends primarily on the duration of application.
LMX-5 Cream (lidocaine 5%) is indicated for the temporary relief of pain associated with minor cuts and abrasions of
the skin, minor burns, including sunburn, minor skin irritation and insect bites.
LMX-5 Cream is not recommended in any clinical situation in which penetration or migration beyond the tympanic membrane into the middle ear is
possible because of ototoxic effects observed in animal studies (see WARNINGS).
CONTRAINDICATIONS: LMX-5 Cream (lidocaine 5%) is contraindicated in patients with a known history of sensitivity to local anesthetics of the
amide type or to any other component of the product.
WARNINGS: For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes. Do not apply to irritated skin or if excessive irritation develops. If condition worsens, or if
symptoms persist unaltered for more than seven days or clear up and occur again within only a few days, discontinue use of this product and consult a
doctor. Do not use in large quantities, particularly over raw or blistered areas. As with any drug, if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advise of a
health professional before using this product. In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately. Keep
this and all medicines out of the reach of children. Application of LMX-5 Cream to larger areas or for longer times than those recommended could result
in sufficient absorption of lidocaine resulting in serious adverse effects (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Studies in laboratory animals (guinea
pigs) have shown that lidocaine cream has an ototoxic effect when instilled into the middle ear. In these same studies, animals exposed to lidocaine cream
in the external auditory canal only showed no abnormality. LMX-5 Cream should not be used in any clinical situation in which its penetration or
migration beyond the tympanic membrane into the middle ear is possible.
General: Repeated doses of LMX-5 Cream may increase blood levels of lidocaine. LMX-5 Cream should be used with caution in patients who may be
more sensitive to the systemic effects of lidocaine including acutely ill, debilitated, or elderly patients.
LMX-5 Cream coming in contact with the eye should be avoided because animal studies have demonstrated severe eye irritation. Also the loss of
protective reflexes can permit corneal irritation and potential abrasion. Absorption of lidocaine cream in conjunctival tissues has not been determined. If
eye contact occurs, immediately wash out the eye with water or saline and protect the eye until sensation returns. Patients allergic to para-aminobenzoic
acid derivitives (procaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, etc.) have not shown cross sensitivity to lidocaine; however, LMX-5 Cream should be used with
caution in patients with a history of drug sensitivities, especially if the etiologic agent is uncertain. Patients with severe hepatic disease, because of their
inability to metabolize local anesthetics normally, are at greater risk of developing toxic plasma concentrations of lidocaine.
Information for Patients:
When LMX-5 Cream is used, the patient should be aware that the production of dermal analgesia may be accompanied by the block of all sensations in
the treated skin. For this reason, the patient should avoid inadvertent trauma to the treated area by scratching, rubbing, or exposure to extreme hot or cold
temperatures until complete sensation has returned.
Drug Interaction: LMX-5 Cream should be used with caution in patients receiving Class I anti-arrhythmic drugs (such as tocainide and mexiletine)
since the toxic effects are additive and generally synergistic.
LMX-5 Cream should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Lidocaine is excreted in human milk. Therefore, caution should be exercised when LMX-5 Cream is administered to a nursing mother
since the milk:plasma ratio of lidocaine is 0.4.
Localized Reactions: During or immediately after treatment with LMX-5 Cream, the skin at the site of treatment may develop erythema or edema or
may be the locus of abnormal sensation.
Allergic Reactions: Allergic and anaphylactoid reactions associated with lidocaine can occur. They are characterized by urticaria, angioedema,
bronchospasm, and shock. If they occur they should be managed by conventional means.
A thick layer of LMX-5 Cream is applied to intact skin.
LMX-5 Cream is available as the following:
They also sell LMX 4, with 20% less lidocaine
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