FDA Warns Parents About Dangers of Teething Gels

A new consumer update was released by the Food and Drug Administration warning about the dangers of giving teething babies products with  benzocaine, an ingredient found in many over the counter pain gels and liquids made specifically for teething.  Products containing benzocaine include Anbesol and Oragel.

The FDA says using benzocaine products to stop mouth and gum pain can cause a rare and sometimes fatal condition called methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a blood disorder where the oxygen that's carried through the blood to the tissue drops to dangerously low levels. In severe cases it can cause death.  Some of the symptoms to look for include pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips and fingernail beds, shortness of breath, headache, light-headedness and rapid heart rate.  This can occur after the first use or after several uses and it can also occur in adults.

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