FDA warns against teething medications containing Benzocaine

So yet another "warning" for parents to be aware of! This time... It's in regard to over-the-counter teething pain relief for our babies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public that the use of benzocaine , the main ingredient in over-the-counter gels and liquids applied to the gums or mouth to reduce pain, is associated with a rare, but serious condition.

The condition they're talking about is called methemoglobinemia and has the potential to reduce the amount of oxygen that is carried into your child's blood stream. In the most severe cases, methemoglobinemia can result in death.

And yes parents... It's in our most popular options when we rush to the store in hopes to bring home some "relief" to our children in pain. Benzocaine gels and liquids can be found in Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, Anbesol, Hurricaine and yes, even store brands!

In the cases studied the report says methemoglobinemia occurred mainly in children aged two years or younger.

Now some signs to look for: pale, gray or blue colored skin, lips, and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; confusion; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate.

The signs and symptoms usually appear within minutes to hours of applying benzocaine and may occur with the first application of benzocaine or after additional use. If you or your child has any of these symptoms after taking benzocaine, seek medical attention immediately.

The American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations for treating teething pain instead of using the benzocaine teething products:

* Give the child a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator.

* Gently rub or massage the child's gums with your finger to relieve the symptoms of teething in children.

Baby Orajel is now also offering a Naturals line, which is benzocaine free,

Just a reminder, benzocaine products are not being RECALLED, the FDA is just putting a warning out.

Plus: Check out recently recalled baby products at

QUESTION: Will this FDA warning deter you from using products containing benzocaine to relieve your child from teething pains?

~Liz Media Mom

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