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U.S. officials say some teething medicines unsafe for babies

Teething, a normal part of childhood, doesn’t need a “cure” with prescription or over-the-counter medications, like benzocaine products, the FDA says.
Image: Teething baby
The FDA is warning parents to stay away from unsafe benzocaine products. iStockphoto / Getty Images
/ Source: The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are warning parents about the dangers of teething remedies that contain a popular numbing ingredient.

The Food and Drug Administration is asking manufacturers to stop selling their products intended for babies and toddlers.

The agency said Wednesday that various gels containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger.

Benzocaine is found in popular brands used to treat mouth sores in adults, including Orajel and Anbesol. The agency said it will take action against companies that don’t voluntarily remove their products for young children. It is also asking for new warnings on adult products.

Regulators have issued multiple warnings about benzocaine but deaths have continued. It can cause a blood condition linked to breathing problems.


Written by Matthew Perrone.