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The Food and Drug Administration warned on Thursday against using a lidocaine solution as a pain reliever on teething babies' gums, saying it can cause deaths and serious injuries in infants and toddlers. The agency will require a boxed warning on the label for prescription oral viscous lidocaine 2 percent solution to highlight that it should not be used for teething pain.
The FDA said it had reviewed 22 reports this year of serious reactions, including deaths, in children ages 5 months to 3.5 years who were given the lidocaine solution or who swallowed it by accident. The agency urged parents to follow the American Academy of Pediatricians' recommendations for treating teething pain. They call for using a chilled teething ring, or gently massaging the child's gums with your finger.