Teething Medicines Now a Concern for FDA

Babies, bundles of joy who at times can become somewhat difficult to handle. Especially, when it comes to the teething phase. Cutting their first teeth can become a nightmare for parents looking for some kind of relief. In a recent step, the FDA called benzocaine (an ingredient in most children’s teething medicines) unsafe. Teething medicines have been a favorite among parents for their ability to numb the sensation babies experience when teething. However, once of the active ingredients in these teething medicines is now causing the FDA to look more closely.

The Ban on Teething Medicines

Companies who manufacture teething medicines are being asked to voluntarily halt these treatments. Many times, the FDA must weigh the benefits versus the risks of the products it regulates. In this case, the FDA has determined that the risks far outweigh the benefits. Regulators are saying that these benzocaine-containing products may be associated with a scary condition called methemoglobinemia, “the result of elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood [which] can lead to death” by sharply reducing the amount of oxygen carried through the blood. The ultimate purpose here is to discontinue these treatments’ marketing altogether; if companies cooperate, “the FDA will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market.” This is a huge and quick step for the companies being regulated. Some of which, only sell those products.

Teething Gel Brands Affected

The FDA is also asking parents discontinue using these medicines, which may be difficult if their child is experiencing teething troubles. The FDA named such brands as Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel, and Topex in its statement released May 23rd. Visit FDA’s website for more details.