FDA Warns Parents About Popular Teething Remedies
Chances are, if you have a teething baby in the house, you have a tube of an over-the-counter remedy containing benzocaine -- but the Food and Drug Administration now says you should stop using it.
Benzocaine can be found in products like Ambesol and Orajel.
The medicines, which work by numbing baby's sore gums thanks to that active ingredient, could cause a potentially fatal health condition called methemoglobinemia in children under 2, according to Dr. Eric M. Ascher with ABC's Medical Unit.
The condition, which is a mouthful, essentially reduces the amount of oxygen the blood carries.
FDA officials are requesting that products with benzocaine no longer be marketed or sold -- or at the least, that companies add warnings with up-to-date drug safety information to all oral health products containing benzocaine.
Dr. Ascher makes it easy: he recommends throwing out any products containing benzocaine. As for helping baby with teething pains, a gentle gum massage can help.
And maybe take some Tylenol, for your headache.