The purpose of this study was to develop a water/oil microemulsion containing lidocaine hydrochloride (4%) and to compare its local anaesthetic efficacy with commercial products. A pseudoternary diagram (K-m: 1/1 or 1/2) was constructed using lecithin/ethanol/oil/water. The droplet size, viscosity and release of the microemulsions were evaluated. Tail flick tests were conducted for in vivo effectiveness; the initiation time of effect, maximum effect, time to reach maximum effect, and relative efficacy were evaluated. The drug caused a significant increase in droplet size. The use of olive oil resulted in a decrease in the solubilisation parameter, as well as a reduction in the release. The droplet size and viscosity of the microemulsion composed of Miglyol/lecithin/ethanol/water/drug (K-m: 1/2) was lower than other microemulsions (8.38 nm, 6.9 mPa), and its release rate (1.61 mg/h) was higher. This system had a faster and more efficient anaesthetic effect than the other microemulsions and commercial products. Results indicate that a water/oil type microemulsion (Miglyol/lecithin/ethanol/water) has promising potential to increase the local anaesthetic effect.