Parents and caregivers of teething babies and children, listen up. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new warning about benzocaine being linked to a rare condition called methemoglobinemia (MetHb), where the blood does not effectively move oxygen throughout the body, which in worst cases can lead to stupor, seizures, coma and even death.
Benzocaine gels and liquids are sold OTC under different brand names such as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and store brands. Benzocaine is also sold in other forms such as sore throat lozenges, creams, ointments, and spray solutions. (See the benzocaine spray alert message here) These products are used to relieve pain from a variety of conditions, such as teething, canker sores, toothaches, burns, insect bites, and irritation of the mouth and gums.
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