FDA Advises Parents of Teething Children To Avoid Topical Pain Reliever
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents of teething infants against the use of topical pain relievers such as Anbesol and Baby Orajel. Parents have been warned previously not to use any of these products on children less than two years of age unless under the direct supervision of their physician.
Harmful Drug Side Effects
Prescription medications containing viscous lidocaine can result in seizures, heart problems and severe brain injury. Another local anesthetic commonly used in many topical pain relievers is benzocaine. Many over the counter products use benzocaine, including Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby orajel and Orabase. Use of products containing benzocaine can lead to serious and sometimes fatal condition known as methemoglobinemia, which is a disorder that greatly reduces the amount of oxygen carried by the blood. Children under the age of two appear to be at a greater risk.
Topical Pain Relievers Not Recommended
The FDA believes that topical pain relievers that are rubbed onto the gums are simply not effective. The argument given is that a baby’s saliva will wash the medication out of their mouth within minutes. The FDA recommends that consumers stop using the products immediately. They suggest a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator, not frozen in the freezer. Also suggested, is gently rubbing the baby’s gums with your finger to relieve symptoms.
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For More Information
- FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA recommends not using lidocaine to treat teething pain and requires new Boxed Warning
- HealthChildren.org - How to Ease Baby’s Teething Pain
- American Academy of Pediatrics - Teething Care