Lidocaine 5% Ointment (15g)

  • Local anaesthetic
  • Effective genital herpes treatment
  • Ease of application

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What is Lidocaine 5% ointment?

Lidocaine 5% ointment is a topical medicine that is used to numb the skin. It is prescribed in the treatment of a number of conditions, including the likes of eczema, insect bites and mild burns to the skin's surface.

It is often prescribed for genital herpes and will get to work very quickly in just a couple of minutes and can also provide relief for a number of hours.

Using Lidocaine will provide fast acting relief from pain, meaning you can get on with your day without discomfort.

To buy Lidocaine 5% ointment, you must have been prescribed it by a doctor. However, lidocaine is also contained in over the counter creams that can be bought from pharmacies

What is Lidocaine ointment used to treat?

Lidocaine is used to provide pain relief from a number of conditions. It can be used for problems like eczema and insect bites, but is also prescribed for genital herpes. If you are prescribed this medicine for genital herpes, it should be applied directly to the affected area and will get to work in just two minutes.

Furthermore, the numbing effects of Lidocaine will last for several hours, allowing you to deal with the pain and discomfort caused by this problem.

How does Lidocaine work?

Lidocaine is an anaesthetic medicine. It works by impairing the nerves' function to transmit pain sensations to your brain. Impairing this function numbs the affected area. This helps to lessen the pain that comes with conditions like eczema, genital herpes and burns. At the same time, the cream can help to soothe the skin's soreness, providing pain relief.

How to use Lidocaine

As a treatment for genital herpes where blisters are present on the skin, men can apply Lidocaine around the scrotum and penis; women can apply it around the vagina.

The numbing effects of Lidocaine will normally last for around four hours. If you are a man with blisters around the head of the penis, a small amount of the ointment can be applied a few minutes before urinating, as urinating can be painful.

Do not apply Lidocaine internally. To avoid numbing your fingers, Lidocaine ointment should be applied while wearing gloves.

  1. Gently wash and dry the affected area before applying the ointment.
  2. Spread 1-2ml of ointment onto the affected area, but do not rub it into the skin completely. You may notice a tingling or stinging sensation upon first applying Lidocaine, but this should subside after a few minutes and you should start to feel better.
  3. Repeat when required, but do not apply more than one-third of the tube in 24 hours.
  4. Wash your hands with soap and hot water after each application.

Always follow your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions. Read the patient information leaflet before you start using Lidocaine for full instructions.

Who can use Lidocaine?

Lidocaine 5% is an effective anaesthetic treatment, but it is not suitable for everyone to use.

Do not use Lidocaine 5% ointment if:

  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients contained in this medicine, or any other amide-type local anaesthetics
  • You or your child has porphyria, methaemoglobinaemia or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • The affected area has cuts, rashes, eczema, bleeding and scabs, or the skin feels sore

Make sure you tell your doctor before using Lidocaine 5% ointment if you have (or have a history of) any liver, kidney or heart problems. In some cases, Lidocaine may interact with medicines you are already using.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before using Lidocaine.

This information is not exhaustive. Read the patient information leaflet for full details on precautions.

Lidocaine side effects

Like all medicines, Lidocaine 5% ointment comes with the risk of side effects, although not everybody will get them. Some people might only experience mild adverse effects, while many people will experience no adverse reactions at all.

Common side effects of this medicine might affect 1 in 10 users and can include:

  • Itching or tingling sensation at the site of application
  • Pale skin with red spots or mild swelling at the site the ointment was applied

Please note, this list is not exhaustive. Please refer to the Side Effects tab for information on more serious reactions you might suffer from using this product.

How to cope with side effects

If you suffer itching or tingling and it becomes unbearable, take the cream off and speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

If you get pale skin with red spots or mild swelling, you should also take the cream off. These symptoms should disappear once this has happened, but if you still have them after 24 hours, speak to your doctor.

Can you buy Lidocaine over the counter?

Lidocaine is a prescription medicine, but it can be bought from pharmacies if you are due to have a cosmetic procedure that involves a needle.

Can you buy Lidocaine online in the UK?

Yes, you can buy Lidocaine ointment online in the UK. To order Lidocaine from Medicine Direct, all you need to do is complete a simple online consultation, which involves answering some questions about your condition and medical history. These answers will be reviewed by one of our registered prescribers to make sure Lidocaine is suitable for you.

Do not buy medicine online from anywhere other than regulated pharmacies, like Medicine Direct. You can view the official medical authorities we are regulated by on our About Us page. These regulatory bodies ensure we sell nothing but genuine, approved and safe medicine from our online pharmacy.

Lidocaine alternatives

Aciclovir 5% Cream is also available to buy from Medicine Direct to treat genital herpes. This treatment works to reduce the severity and length of the problem when applied during the early stages of an outbreak.

Oral prescription medicines such as Aciclovir and Valaciclovir tablets can also be bought from Medicine Direct. These medicines will work to fight the infection that causes herpes.

View our full range of treatments on the Genital Herpes product page.

Lidocaine 5% Ointment Dosage and Directions

Our pharmacists follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Lidocaine ointment.

Always apply Lidocaine cream as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

What if I apply too much?

Applying too much ointment can cause adverse effects or irritate the area of the skin you are applying it to. Speak to your doctor if you have applied too much ointment.

What is Lidocaine used for?


Lidocaine is an anaesthetic that is used to relieve pain in a certain area of the skin. It is typically used to relieve the pain of genital herpes.

What type of drug is Lidocaine?


Lidocaine is classed as a local anaesthetic.

Can I use Lidocaine every day?


Yes, you can use Lidocaine every day while suffering from genital herpes. However, you should not use more than one third of a tube of ointment in 24 hours. You should only use this treatment as instructed by your doctor. As with any medicine, it should be used in the lowest effective dose for the shortest time possible.

Can Lidocaine be used in the anus?


Do not apply this ointment internally.

How long does Lidocaine take to work?


You should notice the numbing effects of Lidocaine ointment after just a 2 to 4 minutes. The effects can last up to four hours.

How long do the effects of Lidocaine last?


The pain-relieving effects of Lidocaine can last for up to 3 to 4 hours.

Is Lidocaine a steroid?


No, Lidocaine is not classed as a steroid, it is a local anaesthetic.

Can I drink alcohol while using Lidocaine?


Drinking alcohol is not likely to interact with Lidocaine. However, if you are due to undergo a medical procedure, you are not advised to drink alcohol.

Can I buy any other anaesthetic creams from pharmacies?


Several creams are available for numbing the skin before medical procedures and to relieve pain. You should speak to your pharmacist about why you require it, so they can recommend an appropriate product.

Can you use Lidocaine on blisters?


Yes, you can use Lidocaine on blisters, although other topical medicines may be more appropriate. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about which medicine would be best.

Will Lidocaine reduce inflammation?


Research has suggested that Lidocaine has anti-inflammatory properties, although it should not be used to treat inflammation.

Does Lidocaine affect fertility?


No evidence exists to show that male or female fertility is affected by Lidocaine. However, if you are suffering from genital herpes, you are advised to not have sex until the condition has cleared.

Lidocaine 5% Ointment Side Effects

Information on common side effects can be found on the main page.

Serious allergic reaction

In very rare cases, you may suffer a serious allergic reaction to Lidocaine 5% ointment.

You must either go to A&E or call 999 straight away if you notice any of the following:

  • You are wheezing
  • You get a skin rash that may have red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You are finding it hard to breathe or speak
  • You have tightness in your chest or throat
  • You have swelling in your face, mouth, tongue, lips or throat

You may be having a serious allergic reaction and need treatment in hospital straight away.

Please read the patient information leaflet for full information on side effects and how to cope with them. If you are worried about side effects, please speak to your doctor before using this treatment.

Lidocaine 5% Ointment Warnings and drug interactions

Cautions with other medicines

Before using Lidocaine, you need to inform your doctor of any other prescription or non-prescription medicine you are using, including herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

Lidocaine may affect how other medicines work, but if you have applied it correctly, it should not interact with any other medication you are using. Interactions are more likely to occur if you use Lidocaine in high doses or are having lidocaine injections.

Inform your doctor if you have porphyria, methaemoglobinaemia or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. The medicines used to treat these conditions might interact with Lidocaine.

Always read the patient information leaflet for a full list of warnings and drug interactions. Please speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns, before you start to use this medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It is generally considered safe to use Lidocaine 5% when pregnant or breastfeeding. However, please make sure your doctor is aware if:

  • You are pregnant
  • You are breastfeeding
  • You are trying to get pregnant
  • You think you might be pregnant

Lidocaine 5% Ointment Ingredients

The main active ingredients within this medicine are: Lidocaine hydrochloride and Phenylephrine hydrochloride

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Medically Reviewed byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 26/08/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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