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Numbing medicine

Learn about where to put numbing creams, gels, or patches to make immunization more comfortable.

About numbing medicine

Using numbing medicine can help lessen the pain from a needle.

Numbing medicine could be a cream, gel, or patch. Your pharmacist can help you choose the right product, show you how to use it safely, and talk about possible side effects.

You will need to put the numbing medicine on before you come to the appointment. If you remove the medicine before you see the nurse for the vaccine, use a pen to draw a circle around the area that was numbed so the nurse can see it.

Where to put numbing medicine

The area of the body where the vaccine will be given (such as the arm or leg) depends on your age. This area is called the injection site.

Use the Babies & preschoolers and Older children & adults tabs on this page to find information on injection sites for different age groups.

Current as of: June 30, 2023
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.