FDA: Some teething remedies can cause possibly fatal side effects in babies

Health officials warn of teething gel side effects

FDA warns: Don’t let your children sink their teeth into benzocaine

And the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been on a recent tear calling out companies (and therapies) that it considers all-steak, no-sizzle, and possibly harmful. Products containing benzocaine are sold as gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges under such over-the-counter brand names Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricane, Orabase, Orajel and Topex, the FDA said.

The agency on Wednesday said it wants manufacturers to stop selling products intended for babies and toddlers because the products contain a drug ingredient that can cause a rare but unsafe blood condition that interferes with normal breathing.

The FDA is also asking companies to add new warnings to labels for other products that contain benzocaine.

And, as always, store all drug products where children can't reach them, the agency said.

Benzocaine is associated with a unsafe health condition called methemoglobinemia, which causes the amount of oxygen carried through the blood to be greatly reduced.

The FDA had previously warned about risks associated with benzocaine products for methemoglobinemia.

According to the FDA, there have been approximately 400 cases of benzocaine-associated methemoglobinemia, with 11 patients younger than 2 years of age.

The agency said parents of teething children should follow advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Remember not to use frozen teething rings as they may damage the gums.

The FDA has also noted that there is "no demonstrated benefit" from these topical anesthetics in babies and children, meaning that you have a risky product that doesn't actually do much to help relieve teething discomfort.

Federal officials are warning parents about the potential dangers of teething medicines.

In rare cases, it can affect how the red blood cells carry oxygen. They're concerned about an ingredient - the drug benzocaine.

The FDA wants all oral-health products for children with benzocaine, a type of pain reliever, to stop being marketed and sold.

Teething products with benzocaine include Baby Orajel. They say using these products can lead to a serious and sometimes fatal condition. Signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia (which is a methemoglobin level above 10 percent) include shortness of breath, cyanosis, mental status changes, headache, fatigue, exercise intolerance, dizziness, and loss of hairlines.

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