US officials say some teething medicines unsafe for babies

  • US officials say some teething medicines unsafe for babies

US officials say some teething medicines unsafe for babies

New warnings will be added to other benzocaine-containing products for oral use, the agency said.

The FDA said it will take legal action against companies that don't voluntarily remove their products for young children.

Products containing benzocaine carry serious risks and provide little to no benefits for treating oral pain, including sore gums due to teething, the FDA says.

Companies are being asked to stop marketing and selling these teething products with benzocaine. In addition to our letters to companies who make these products, we urge parents, caregivers and retailers who sell them to heed our warnings and not use over-the-counter products containing benzocaine for teething pain.

Doctors say cold teething rings can help soothe babies' pain, as long as the rings are not frozen.

Benzocaine gels and liquids are sold OTC under different brand names such as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and store brands.

More than 400 cases of benzocaine-associated methemoglobinemia have been reported to the FDA or in medical literature since 1971, according to a drug-safety communication the agency posted. Methemoglobinemia is a unsafe condition that results from elevated levels of methemoglobin, causing oxygen carried through the blood to be reduced, which can ultimately lead to death. It urged parents to avoid the products because of the risk of a potentially life-threatening condition called methemoglobinemia, which reduces oxygen in the blood.

The FDA also says it can be unsafe.

For more information, visit the FDA website.

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

The FDA's warning is an update to a statement the regulatory agency made seven years ago.

This is not the first warning about benzocaine from the FDA. Manufacturers have 30 days to respond to the government's request.

They also warn against using homeopathic alternatives. At that time, the FDA was aware that methemoglobinemia was a rare reaction to benzocaine; it had received a total of 319 reports of this particular complication, not limited to children.

Signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia include pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, and nail beds; dyspnea; fatigue; confusion; headache; lightheadedness; and tachycardia.

These new directives may have parents wondering - what are they supposed to do with a teething baby?