Medicine

FDA Warns Infant Teething Medications Are Unsafe

FDA Warns Infant Teething Medications Are Unsafe

A new warning has been issued by the FDA for parents to stop using products that contain benzocaine for their kids' teething pains.

"In addition, we also are revising the Drug Facts Label on all over-the-counter oral health care products that contain benzocaine with an intended use other than teething to emphasize that these products should not be used for teething pain or in children under 2 years of age", the statement said.

Benzocaine is also used in popular over-the-counter products for toothaches and cold sores in adults, including Orajel and Anbesol and generic drugstore brands.

The press release states that if companies do not comply, the FDA will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market.

Many over the counter products designed for teething pain contain benzocaine, a chemical that may pose serious health risks for infants and children.

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More than 400 cases of benzocaine-associated methemoglobinemia have been reported to the FDA or in medical literature since 1971, according to a drug-safety communication the agency posted. This risky condition is the result of elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood and it can lead to death. Methemoglobinemia is a condition caused by elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood. That includes using a teething ring or gently massaging a child's gums with a finger to relieve symptoms. They include pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips, and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; headache; lightheadedness; and a rapid heart rate. It also repeated a previous warning to avoid homeopathic teething products, which may have a variety of possible side effects. Any mom or dad who's ever had to soothe a teething baby knows it's just about one of the toughest phases of parenthood. Products for adults can remain on the market but the FDA wants companies to add new warnings.

In response to the FDA's warning, Church and Dwight Co.

Over-the-counter products containing the anesthetic substance benzocaine are marketed to ease the pain of gums made sore by teething.

Teething can be a hard time for infants.

The FDA claimed the teething products with benzocaine has no health benefits because it must be removed immediately from the mouth.