FDA warns parents against using teething medications

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging parents to avoid using numbing medicine for teething babies. FDA is asking manufacturers to stop selling products for young children containing the medication.

Health officials say certain teething gels can cause rare, but deadly side effects.

Benzocaine gels and liquids are sold OTC under different brand names such as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and store brands. The FDA has warned companies of legal action if these products are not removed from the market and their sales are not stopped for babies.

Parents might use these products to temporarily relieve a child's teething pain, but the agency said they pose a "serious risk" to infants and children and often are not effective, since they can wash out of the mouth quickly. The agency has been warning about the product for a decade but said reports of illnesses and deaths have continued. It may lead to a life-threatening condition called methemoglobinemia when oxygen in the blood dips to dangerously low levels.

Also make sure the teething ring is not frozen because if the object is too hard it can hurt your child's gums. Those symptoms include pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, lightheadedness and rapid heart rate.

Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, recently proclaimed about the sunscreen products.

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It's also not the first teething product that the FDA has cautioned against.

Katie Dehart is excited that her baby boy teething, but admits it's not always easy.

The issued warning referred to benzocaine teething products for not being able to demonstrate sufficient benefits.

One major manufacturer, Church and Dwight Co.

Those concerned by the warning are advised to check if benzocaine is an active ingredient in products, and keep an eye out for symptoms of methemoglobinemia if they are used. In addition to finding benzocaine in teething products, you might also find it in products marketed for treating sore throats, canker sores, and mouth and gum irritation. Anyone with these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately, according to the FDA.

Regulators have warned about the dangers of benzocaine in the past, AP said.

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