The US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers Wednesday to stop using over-the-counter teething products that contain benzocaine. Benzocaine products are sold as gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges under brand names Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel and Topex and as store brands and generics.
Methemoglobinemia, a fatal condition in which the oxygen level in blood dips dangerously low, may result from these anesthetics. Babies who experience these problems need to get medical attention immediately.
Takeaway: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents to use alternatives such as hard rubber teething products and to avoid frozen teething toys, as they can injure a baby’s mouth and cause more pain. It suggests that parents can rub their babies’ gums to give them temporary relief.