FDA Warning on Teething Medications Containing Benzocaine
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports on a rare but serious blood disorder that is associated with the use of pain relievers, including teething gels, that contain Benzocaine sold under the name brands of Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Oraljel, Orabase, and generic brands. This disorder is called methemoglobinemia and is characterized by a reduced amount of oxygen in the blood stream. In severe cases this can lead to death.
These medications are thus not at all recommended for teething in infants and toddlers. Instead, a chilled but not frozen teething ring is recommended. Massaging the gums with a finger is also recommended to relieve teething. Additional recommendations may be gained from your pediatrician or from the American Academy of Pediatrics website.
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