Potential Dangers of Pain Relievers for Teething
Parents sometimes use products with benzocaine as pain relievers for teething babies. However, the use of benzocaine, a local anesthetic found in some over-the-counter products, including Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase, can lead to a rare but potentially fatal condition called methemoglobinemia.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), children under 2 years of age are at especially high risk. Adults with heart disease or breathing problems and smokers are also at increased risk.
Review FDA’s warning, Benzocaine and Babies: Not a Good Mix, for a list of symptoms of methemoglobinemia and see suggested alternatives for soothing teething babies.