July 14, 2024

FDA Warns Parents About Benzocaine and Lidocaine

The FDA is warning parents about the dangers of benzocaine and lidocaine in products used for treating teething pain in children. These topical medications offer little to no benefit and are associated with serious risks. The products include creams, gels, and homeopathic teething tablets.

FDA Warns Parents About Benzocaine and Lidocaine

Benzocaine is a local anesthetic that temporarily numbs. It is the active ingredient in several nonprescription oral health care products, including Anbesol, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, HurriCaine, Orabase, Orajel, and Topex. These products should not be used for teething pain in children because they can be dangerous. Using benzocaine products can lead to a serious, and sometimes fatal, condition called methemoglobinemia, in which the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells is greatly reduced.

And topical oral viscous lidocaine solutions can cause grave harm such as heart problems, severe brain injury, and even death. Lidocaine can also cause seizures in infants and young children when too much is applied or when it is accidentally swallowed.

The FDA has also received reports of death and serious injuries in infants and children, including strangulation and choking, caused by teething jewelry such as amber teething necklaces.

To help your child, you can gently rub or massage the gums with your finger, or give the child a firm, not liquid-filled, teether made of rubber to chew on. Make sure the teething ring is not frozen. And supervise any child who is given a ring so they don’t accidentally choke.

 

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