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FDA Warns Against Use of Benzocaine Teething Products on Children

Stop using any medicine that contains benzocaine for children’s teething, FDA cautions, as these products have been linked to a serious side effect called methemoglobinemia, which can cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop to unsafe levels, potentially causing death.

May 24, 2018 – In addition to the warning to consumers, FDA also sent a letter to manufacturers of benzocaine-containing teething remedies, asking them to stop selling the products.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one has been harmed by a teething medicine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

Parents may use benzocaine-containing powders or gels from time to time to temporarily relieve pain associated with infants’ teething, but the FDA cautions against even occasional use of the products due to the methemoglobinemia risk, as well as the fact that they are often ineffective and wash out of the mouth quickly.

Which Teething Medicines Contain Benzocaine?

Benzocaine comes in various forms, including “gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges,” according to the FDA. Popular brands include:

  • Anbesol
  • Baby Orajel
  • Cepacol
  • Chloraseptic
  • Hurricane
  • Orabase
  • Orajel
  • Topex
  • Store brands and generics

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that if manufacturers fail to voluntarily take their benzocaine products off the market, the FDA will order mandatory recalls to enforce their removal.

“Because of the lack of efficacy for teething and the serious safety concerns we’ve seen with over-the-counter benzocaine oral health products, the FDA is taking steps to stop use of these products in young children and raise awareness of the risks associated with other uses of benzocaine oral health products,” Gottlieb said. “The FDA is committed to protecting the American public from products that pose serious safety risks, especially those with no demonstrated benefit.”

Methemoglobinemia Symptoms

  • Difficulties breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Salivates excessively
  • Loss of consciousness

Do I have a Teething Medicine Lawsuit?

The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in teething medicine lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new methemoglobinemia cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if your child developed methemoglobinemia or other serious side effect from a benzocaine teething powder or gel, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

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