FDA urges parents to stop using numbing medicines on teething babies' gums

FDA urges parents to stop using numbing medicines on teething babies' gums

FDA urges parents to stop using numbing medicines on teething babies' gums

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a stance against teething products containing benzocaine, urging parents to not use them on infants and children. FDA is asking manufacturers to stop selling products for young children containing the medication.

Benzocaine is marketed as a way to ease the pain of a variety of oral health problems, including teething, sore throat, canker sores, and irritation of the mouth and gums. If they do not comply, the FDA says it will "will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market".

Regulators have issued multiple warnings about benzocaine but deaths have continued.

The FDA previously warned consumers about the risks of benzocaine, which include a chance of getting a disease known as methemoglobinemia, which can raise the levels of methemoglobin in the blood while dangerously lowering blood oxygen levels.

The FDA recommends massaging your child's gums with your finger if your child is having teething pain. Rapid heart rate, headache, lightheadedness, difficulty in breathing, sleepiness, pale skin, and blue or gray eyes are some of the symptoms of methemoglobinemia.

The FDA has been warning parents about gum-numbing products for years, but made a decision to take this tougher stance because of continuing concerns about the health and safety risks posed by these products.

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In January 2017, the FDA warned against homeopathic teething tablets after finding "inconsistent amounts of belladonna" that sometimes far exceeded the amounts indicated on the label.

Katie Dehart is excited that her baby boy teething, but admits it's not always easy.

Check your teething relief product labels to see if benzocaine is an active ingredient.

Some brands that have benzocaine includes brands like Baby Orajel, Anbesol and Topex. The latest target? Children's gel teething products that contain the painkiller benzocaine.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), oral teething gels or creams are not of much use because they get washed away in saliva in a few minutes. Pharmacists should advise patients experiencing any of these symptoms to seek emergency medical attention. The FDA says these products should no longer be used on children under 2. Other Orajel products that are meant for adult use would not be stopped, the spokesperson added.

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