Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

Health officials warn of teething gel side effects FDA warns: Don’t let your children sink their teeth into benzocaine
Ben Pena | 25 May, 2018, 21:46

The ultimate goal here is to discontinue these treatments' marketing altogether; if companies don't play ball, "the FDA will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market".

In previous communications, the FDA had warned the public about reports of methemoglobinemia in individuals using OTC benzocaine gels and liquids as well as benzocaine sprays for medical procedures. In addition to our letters to companies who make these products, we urge parents, caregivers and retailers who sell them to heed our warnings and not use over-the-counter products containing benzocaine for teething pain.

Benzocaine is marketed as a way to ease the pain of a variety of oral health problems, including teething, sore throat, canker sores, and irritation of the mouth and gums.

Teething products with benzocaine include Baby Orajel.

The FDA wants all oral-health products for children with benzocaine, a type of pain reliever, to stop being marketed and sold.

Symptoms of methemoglobinemia may begin within minutes and up to two hours after the first use of benzocaine.

The FDA said it will take legal action against other companies that don't voluntarily comply as soon as possible. The FDA has been warning consumers about these products for years, and now it is taking more serious action.

Cheapest gas prices in the Triangle
Travelers hitting the roads for Memorial Day weekend can expect to spend twice as long in the vehicle as usual, AAA says. Glenn Wyatt said he'll be staying close to home over Memorial Day weekend because of high gas prices and heavy traffic.

Pharmacists can play an important role in postmarketing surveillance of benzocaine products by reporting methemoglobinemia cases to the FDA's MedWatch program. There are probably additional cases that weren't documented.

The FDA issued warnings about the teething products in 2006, 2011 and 2014, but it did not call for their removal from the market. The agent is also found in generic teething products.

If your child is having teething pain, the FDA says to try massaging their gums with your finger or give your child a teething ring made of firm rubber to chew on.

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

According to Church and Dwight Co. I have, for a while, cautioned against topical gels because of the danger, and babies are in the population at the highest risk for harm, and if you look at the risk versus benefit, it's not even all that helpful.

Story by Jen Christensen for CNN.

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