Tags: fda | benzocaine | risk | baby

FDA: Benzocaine bad for Babies

Monday, 04 June 2012 10:41 AM

Federal regulators are warning new parents not to use pain remedies containing the local anesthetic benzocaine to treat teething infants’ sore gums. Over-the-counter products – such as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase – can lead to a rare, but serious and sometimes fatal condition called methemoglobinemia.
The warning, issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Association, noted children under 2 years old are particularly at risk of the disorder, which causes a significant drop in oxygen carried through the blood stream.
The FDA first warned about potential dangers of such products in 2006. But since then the agency has received 29 reports of benzocaine-related cases of methemoglobinemia. Nineteen of those cases occurred in children, mostly in children under 2 years of age, the FDA said.
Symptoms of the disorder can included pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; confusion; headache; light-headedness; and rapid heart rate.
“Symptoms can occur within minutes to hours after benzocaine use,” said FDA pharmacist Mary Ghods. “They can occur after using the drug for the first time, as well as after several uses.”
Parents who believe their children have symptoms of the condition should seek medical help immediately by calling 911.
To ease teething pain, parents can give children a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator or gently rub or massage the child’s gums with a finger, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.

© HealthDay

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Common teething remedies can lead to a rare, but serious health condition.
Monday, 04 June 2012 10:41 AM
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