The Food And Drug Administration Has Issued A Warning About Benzocaine Gels And Liquids That Are Commonly Used To Diminish The Discomfort Of Teething In Babies. Keep Reading For More Info.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about benzocaine gels and liquids that are commonly used to diminish the discomfort of teething in babies. Keep reading for more info.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about Benzocaine gels and liquids that are commonly used to diminish the discomfort of teething in babies. Some of the brand name products are as follows:
  • Anbesol
  • Orajel
  • Baby Orajel
  • Orabase
According to the FDA, a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia can occur as a result of using products containing benzocaine. The condition "results in the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream being greatly reduced. In the most severe cases, methemoglobinemia can result in death." Most cases of methemoglobinemia have occurred in children who were two years old or younger and were being given the gels or liquids for teething relief. The FDA says the following are signs of the condition:
  • Pale, gray or blue colored skin, lips, and nail beds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid heart rate
Furthermore, the FDA notes that these symptoms usually occur within minutes to hours of using gels or liquids containing benzocaine. Children should not be given benzocaine-containing products except under the advice and monitoring of a physician, according to the FDA. Instead, try the following for teething discomfort:
  • Give the child a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator.
  • Gently rub or massage the child’s gums with your finger to relieve the symptoms of teething in children.
I tend to err on the side of caution, but having read this, I would never use any of these products, like Orajel, for teething. In fact, I never did. Our pediatrician said that in her opinion, they aren't very useful -- they may offer relief for a few minutes, but then the gel wears off and you're right back to square one. Instead, we relied on teething rings (although my kids didn't much care for them) and infant Motrin when the situation become really, really desperate. I had two difficult teethers, but we did what we could to get through it. Teething advice 6 Ways to stop teething pain in babies How to sooth teething pain (disregard the section on gels!)

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