Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Medicine | By Debra Reynolds

FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

You repeat all of the above in what seems like an endless loop of desperation as you attempt to soothe your very uncomfortable little one.

Those concerned by the warning are advised to check if benzocaine is an active ingredient in products, and keep an eye out for symptoms of methemoglobinemia if they are used.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against over-the-counter teething products that contain benzocaine. The FDA has been warning consumers about these products for years, and now it is taking more serious action.

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.

So what's a desperate parent to do? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that caregivers rub or massage the gums with their finger or use teething rings made of firm rubber.

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Pharmacists should educate parents to avoid using benzocaine, and other local anesthetics to treat teething pain in infants and children.

Some brands that have benzocaine includes brands like Baby Orajel, Anbesol and Topex.

The agency said it will take action against companies that don't voluntarily remove benzocaine products for young children. Methemoglobinemia is a condition caused by elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood.

This is not the first warning about benzocaine from the FDA.

"I always said I was never going to use it", says Geelyn Warren who used natural options for her 2-year-old daughter Ansley when she was teething.

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Officials say if you or your child show any symptoms, which include weakness, confusion, headache, difficulty breathing and/or pale-, grey- or blue-coloured skin, you should go see a health practitioner immediately.

Benzocaine is found in gels, sprays and lozenges for teething, canker sores, sore throats and toothaches, for both adults and children.

"They can be unsafe because that medicine can get absorbed into your system through your gums". "In addition, we are adding warning statements to more clearly identify the risks and symptoms presented by methemoglobinemia, a rare but serious condition associated with the use of benzocaine".

Paducah pediatrician Dr. Van Meeks says there are major concerns with long-term use of the products.

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