Sunday, 24 June, 2018

FDA warns teething medicines are unsafe for babies

Health officials warn of teething gel side effects FDA warns: Don’t let your children sink their teeth into benzocaine
Johnnie Parks | 25 May, 2018, 21:51

The Food and Drug administration says teething should not be treated with homeopathic remedies or over the counter medications rubbed on the gums. The ultimate goal here is to discontinue these treatments' marketing altogether; if companies don't play ball, "the FDA will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market".

Along with asking companies to stop selling children's products with benzocaine, the FDA is also requesting more warning labels on all other benzocaine oral-health products.

Church & Dwight Co., which sells and markets Orajel products for teething, said in a statement that the safety of its customers and their children is its highest priority, and it is immediately discontinuing the distribution and sale of Orajel teething products containing benzocaine.

Benzocaine can cause a serious health threat called methemoglobinemia, which greatly reduces the level of oxygen carried through the blood.

"Its always been an issue with the choking and this is a new warning the fda has come out with for certain children that are predisposed to this", Lykins said.

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According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), it is never too early to start brushing baby gums with a soft infant toothbrush (or just a cloth and water) every day. Pharmacists can play an important role in educating patients on the dangers of benzocaine teething products, and to recommend safe ways to relieve teething pain in infants and children. Instead of using over-the-counter products, parents can help their children cope with teething symptoms.

Benzocaine is sometimes sold under the brand names Orajel and Anbesol and is an ester local anesthetic, often used as a topical pain reliever or in cough drops. Symptoms include a gray or bluish appearance, especially in the lips and nail beds, as well as rapid breathing and an elevated heart rate.

Benzocaine is found in gels, sprays and lozenges for teething, canker sores, sore throats and toothaches, for both adults and children.

Dr. Lisa Thebner, a New York-based pediatrician, said parents still ask about the products with some frequency. Signs and symptoms may occur after using benzocaine for the first time, or after prior uses and may appear within minutes to 1 to 2 hours after using benzocaine.

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