I am prescribed EMLA cream. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia but i also have tendon and nerve pain. Would the cream effectively decrease pain in the extensor tendons of my fingers or would Voltaren gel be a better choice? Also which cream penetrates deeper?


EMLA is intended only for providing surface local anaesthesia, prior to cannula insertion, minor surgical procedures etc. I very much doubt if it will be very effective for more deep-rooted pain, though as with all topical treatments, there may be benefits from the physical application and rubbing in, which increases blood flow.

Voltaren may have some benefits for joint pain but the clinical evidence is poor (despite the marketing hype). Indeed there are suspicions that products may be withdrawn from the market or restricted to prescription only at some point in the future.

There are no immediate problems with using either product in the short term, but I wouldn't expect long term benefits and no complications.

If you are able, I would advise getting some advice from a physiotherapist on exercises and massage that can be used to keep your joints mobile and reduce pain.

I hope this helps.


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Nigel Simmons


I am happy to answer general questions on medicines and hospital care. If possible, please use approved / chemical names rather than brands which are not internationally recognised. Like all health professionals I am bound by a duty of care which prevents me giving detailed information about medication or treatment of people other than the questioner. I will endeavour to help wherever possible or point towards more appropriate advice. If however your question crosses too far into patient confidentiality, I hope you will understand why I cannot answer your question. Consider.. would you want me to discuss your care with a friend or relative without your knowledge?


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