• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Topical Anesthetics - Overview

Listen to this Podcast 

Run Time -- 00:01:51


Welcome to the Food and Drug Administration's drug safety update. I am Mandy Eisemann from FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

On February 6, 2007, we issued a public health advisory to alert you to the potential hazards of using skin-numbing products, also known as topical anesthetics, for cosmetic procedures. These topical anesthetics contain anesthetic drugs in a cream, ointment, or gel. Topical anesthetics are widely used to numb the skin for medical and cosmetic procedures.

We are aware that use of these products before a cosmetic procedure may not be supervised by trained health professionals. Without this supervision, patients may apply large amounts of topical anesthetics to their skin. This application can result in high levels of these products in the blood causing life-threatening side effects, such as an irregular heartbeat, seizures, and death.

We are asking health-care professionals to report serious adverse events in connection with topical anesthetics to us through the MedWatch program by phone at 1-800-F-D-A-ten-88 or by the Internet at F-D-A dot G-O-V slash MedWatch.

To hear the full public health advisory, listen to part 2 of this broadcast. Updated information about drugs with emerging safety concerns is available 24 hours a day at our Web site F-D-A dot G-O-V slash C-D-E-R.



Additional Information


Contact FDA

1-800-FDA-0178 Fax
Report a Serious Problem

MedWatch Online

Regular Mail: Use postage-paid FDA Form 3500

Mail to: MedWatch 5600 Fishers Lane

Rockville, MD 20857