Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

FDA Warns Parents of Harmful Teething Product

FDA Teething babies don’t need medicine	 	 	 			One year old baby girl sitting sucking her thumb FDA Teething babies don’t need medicine One year old baby girl sitting sucking her thumb
Steve Townsend | 25 May, 2018, 21:50

The Food and Drug Administration is warning that some popular teething remedies for babies and toddlers can be harmful.

The FDA warned about the potential dangers of benzocaine in 2006 and 2011, and has said parents shouldn't use the products in children younger than 2.

What this means is over-the-counter teething products containing the pain reliever benzocaine pose a serious health risk to infants and children, and companies should stop selling them. The FDA has warned companies of legal action if these products are not removed from the market and their sales are not stopped for babies. It is also asking for new warnings on adult products. Inc. said Wednesday it would discontinue four Orajel teething brands, including Orajel Medicated Teething Swabs.

In children under two, benzocaine can cause a condition known as methemoglobinemia, where oxygen levels in the blood are abnormally low. More than 400 cases have been reported to the FDA or appear in the medical literature, the agency said in a data summary. Remember not to use frozen teething rings as they may damage the gums. A study comparing the relative ability of benzocaine and lidocaine to make methemoglobin showed that benzocaine generated much more methemoglobin than lidocaine in a red blood cell model.

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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. These gels and creams contain the drug benzocaine that is a local anesthetic gel and can numb the area stopping the pain.

Companies are being urged to voluntarily halt sales of-and parents are being urged to eschew-these sore gum treatments, which are commonly used to treat pain related to teething and other various mouth irritations.

Symptoms of methemoglobinemia can happen within minutes of using benzocaine. Those symptoms include pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, lightheadedness and rapid heart rate. They say using these products can lead to a serious and sometimes fatal condition.

Dr. Lisa Thebner, a New York-based pediatrician, said parents still ask about the products with some frequency.

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