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Parents, Beware of Topical Teething Anesthetics

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Topical anesthetics containing Lidocaine Viscous are popular with parents trying sooth their little ones’ teething pain, but the medications can seriously injure, even kill, young patients.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned against use of the products, particularly those containing more than 2 percent Lidocaine Viscous. The FDA said that it would require a new Boxed Warning, the FDA’s strongest warning, to all packages of the numbing agents.

In addition to The Boxed Warning, the FDA will update sections of the products’ Warnings and Dosage and Administration settings the drug label to describe “the risk of severe adverse events and to include additional instructions for dosing when the drug is prescribed for approved uses,” the agency said in June 2014 announcement on its website.

Dr. Peter Piche, a dentist in Traverse City, Michigan, told that swallowed Lidocaine Viscous can be extremely dangerous to children. “It’s been shown that when too much Lidocaine Viscous gets swallowed it can cause seizures, brain injuries and problems with the heart.” The FDA said it also found cases in which infants died following use of the prescription strength product. “The problem comes when too much is given,” Piche says. “The husband gives it, and the mom doesn’t know that, so she gives more. The product is flavored, so the baby is intentionally licking his gums and swallowing the medicine.”

In 2011, the agency warned that infants and young children should not be given benzocaine containing products, such as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase and other store brands. Instead, Piche recommends water-filled teething rings that are chilled and not frozen, and massaging the gums. The FDA recommends the same alternatives.

Additionally, the FDA warned that using over-the-counter (OTC) benzocaine teething gels can cause a rare but potentially life-threatening condition known as methemoglobinemia, in which there is a decrease of oxygen carried through the blood. Despite the 2011 warning, the agency continues to receive reports of methemoglobinemia in infants and children who have been given OTC benzocaine gels and liquids. disclaimer: This article: Parents, Beware of Topical Teething Anesthetics was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 7:11 pm at and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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