Benzocaine and Babies

The FDA has issued a warning against Benzocaine.

Benzocaine is a medicine commonly used for oral pain, and can be found in things like Orajel and Anbesol.  However, the FDA has recently reissued a warning about benzocaine being used in children under the age of 2 for teething pains.  It has been shown that these children are at a particularly high risk for a rare disease known as methemoglobinemia.  This disease decreases the amount of oxygen carried by the blood.

Some common symptoms of this disease are pale skin, lips, and nail beds as well as shortness of breath and fatigue.   The FDA recommends that teething pain should be treated with a chilled teething ring or gently rubbing the gum tissue.

It should also be noted that those that have heart disease, smoke, or have breathing problems are also at a higher risk of this disease because of benzocaine.