OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of EMLA (eutectic mixture of local anaesthetic) for the control of pain related to cryotherapy for the treatment of human papilloma virus (HPV) in the outpatient setting. DESIGN: A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study. SUBJECTS: 40 patients (20 male and 20 female) with external genital HPV involving an area of no greater than 1 cm2. SETTING: The Capital Health Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. RESULTS: Patients in whom EMLA was utilised reported significantly lower scores than those in the control group. Women reported pain scores of 4.7/10 and 0.9/10 in placebo and EMLA groups respectively (p < 0.01). Men reported pain scores of 6.4/10 and 3.1/10 in placebo and EMLA groups respectively (p < 0.01). Men reported significantly higher pain scores than women in the EMLA groups (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in pain scores between men and women in the placebo groups. CONCLUSION: EMLA can provide efficacious topical anaesthesia before cryotherapy for the treatment of external genital HPV.
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