May 3rd, 2011
03:32 PM ET

FDA warns about drug in some teething meds

Do you use an over-the-counter medication containing benzocaine to help your child's teething pain? The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning linking benzocaine to a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia, in which the blood does not effectively distribute oxygen throughout the body. It its very worst cases it can be fatal.

Our friends at Parenting.com have a great post explaining the risks, the  condition,   its symptoms and what you can do about it. 

Thanks for the heads up on this, Parenting.

Filed under: Parenting

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soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Christine

    nothing is safe 🙁

    May 3, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pat

      Herbs are safe. Thousands of years of evidence-based testing, too. We're the only country that doesn't recognize herbalism and whose doctors aren't versed in it. Sound like an end-run from pharmaceuticals?

      May 4, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
    • Tiffany

      I have always used a drop of whiskey, family tradtion.

      May 4, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Many medications are herb based. To that end, you cannot throw out a blanket statement that herbs are safe - they contain molecules that interfere with how your body normally functions. Many herbs have known side effects - and there are hundreds of herbs that we don't know what they do, how they do it, and what side effects they have.

      May 4, 2011 at 16:39 | Report abuse |
  2. T3chsupport

    Since the beginning of things like teeth, and babies, there have been screaming, teething babies. Believe it or not, both the baby and the parent usually survive this difficult time. Give them a wet wash cloth and stop filling everything with drugs!

    May 3, 2011 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kalley

      Seems like you are a little judgemental on this topic????????? Some parents are just looking for a little relief for themselves and their children. And if the wet washcloth works great, use it, but is not the end all be all answer for this problem.

      May 4, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
  3. birbeydog

    Ha! wet wash cloth! they are awesome!

    May 3, 2011 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Rozina

    I used to wet the washcloths & then put them in the freezer til they were almost frozen & then give them to my daughters when they'd teethed. they seemed to like that alot. it was that & rubbing their gums w/ vanilla extract. don't ask, the vanilla extract was their father's idea that actually seemed to work.

    May 3, 2011 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer

      Vanilla extract is mostly alcohol!

      May 3, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
    • km

      Giving your baby alcohol is a terrible idea, even more so posting it on this site for idiots to read...

      May 3, 2011 at 22:55 | Report abuse |
    • Cidinha

      ok. confession. i didn't read the text of your post lol. my eye went srahigtt to the awesome photos. and then I read your post after I commented. quite backwards, huh. Anyway, a fan of Gabe's work already and LOVE you and Bob's images!!!!!!!!

      October 11, 2012 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
  5. Josh

    That's what whiskey is for. Not for the baby, but for mommy and daddy.

    May 3, 2011 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. carrie

    Hyland's Teething Tablets. Homeopathic, no alcohol, works instantly (I use them on kankar sores–pain relief w/o numbing!). Our dentist calls it "baby crack" it works so well!

    May 3, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JustPlainJoe

      Homeopathic drugs are usually safe because they are placebos, but these Hyland Tabs contain Belladona, a potentially lethal product from the "deadly nightshade" plant. FDA issued a recall October 23, 2010. Natural, Homeopathic and other labels are frequently just a cover for poor research and testimonial based selling.

      May 3, 2011 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • G's Mommy

      You do know that Hyland's Teething Tablets were recalled too several months ago by the FDA.

      May 4, 2011 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      More quack, untested junk.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:04 | Report abuse |
    • Zozo

      Homeopathic preparation of belladonna is completly safe. Homeopathic medicines are highly diluted thats why SAFE! My 5 years old daughter has never had tylenol or ant chemical medication! On the rear occasion of fever homeopathic belladonna in 200 C potency is what always brings the fever down. Takes the most 12-18h for all the symptoms of the cold or flu to go away, and she is healthier then ever! The homeopathic medicine cost 7 dollars and it last for years (i use few pellets when needed) What a HUGE lost for the big pharma, having a kid for 5 years and havent spent a dollar on their meds.
      PS Using chamomilia (homeopathic) with my newborn works pretty good too!

      May 4, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
    • GRofPA

      Zozo – Yes highly diluted that's also why homeopathic meds don't really do anything – they are a worthless scam – so diluted that there is barely a microscopic trace of the "active" ingredient. And the kicker is they try to convince you that the more diluted it is, the better it will work – HA! I've got some ocean-front property in Iowa for you too!

      May 4, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse |
    • natural treatments worked for MILLENIUMS!

      Hey GRofPA, you are an idiot! I can see that you are just another lost sheep that worships the FDA as if they are friggin God's that been around since the dawn of time. WRONG! This country is just a drop in the bucket of history. It has only been around for a few centuries and the FDA a few decades. People have been treating a host of illnesses with natural plants and herbs for THOUSANDS of YEARS. And please pull your head out and realize that 'olden times' do not only mean in EUROPE when they in the Dark Ages. The entire freaking globe was not in the DARK AGES, that was just Europe. OMG you Americans are such self-righteous idiots sometimes. Wow.

      May 4, 2011 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
    • Jacob

      Hey Joe, they are not placebos. I know you have been thoroughly brainwashed in this country but there is an entire world out there. Many countries that have used natural remedies for centuries that are time-tested and work wonderfully. You are extremely naive if you think that no one treated ANYTHING before the pharmaceutical industry in AMERICA existed. Everyone just walked around with teething babies screaming because there was no FDA. Get a clue dummy.

      May 4, 2011 at 18:25 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      I just discovered the FDA pulled teething tablets off the shelf for belladonna poisioning- I love the tablets but I am afriad to goie them to my child now.

      May 15, 2011 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
  7. m0mmyof2

    This is nothing new. Anything with benzocaine in it has the potental to cause methemoglobinemia.

    May 4, 2011 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Pedsnurse

    Numbing medicines are safe in moderation and as directed on the package. As long as you dont put the entire tub in their mouth you are pretty safe. It takes a large amount of Benzacaine to cause methemoglobinemia. Also discuss the use of homeopathic medicines with your pediatrician first. Most homeopathic are not tested on children and can cause more harm than good. If you would like to use non-medicinal methods teething rings are good options. If you have a toddler teething you can try freezing pieces of bagels.

    May 4, 2011 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      It was the FDA and medical fields training that misled you to believe that it is safe! Time to change your knowledge base.

      May 4, 2011 at 07:45 | Report abuse |
    • Zozo

      most chemical medicines are not tested enough on children thats why they change the guidelines for whats safe and not every 2-3 months! let alone the sidefects they have

      May 4, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
  9. Robert

    The FDA is not there to help the consumer, but to make more profits for companies! What happened to the safety study!!! I'm SICK of the FDA and USDA.

    May 4, 2011 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. nina786

    what is safe for it?....:-/


    May 4, 2011 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Anna

    Whatever happened to simply holding your child to comfort them or giving them teething rings to chew on? Why do parents today want to give their kids medication for EVERY little ache and pain and, more so, why are doctors so eager to give those parents the rX's?

    May 4, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dom625

      To play the devil's advocate, what's wrong with a parent wanting to do whatever is possible to limit their child's suffering? While I cannot remember going through teething when I was a baby, I do know what it felt like when my wisdom teeth began breaking through. I thought my face would explode! Why would I want my baby to endure that when I can offer medication to alleviate it? Don't we take Tylenol or Advil or another painkiller if we are hurting?

      May 4, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • Kalai

      Daylight Saving Time is KILLING me. I seriously think the time cgahne is pointless. I'm not sure yet if it's affecting the little one. He still seems to be getting the same amount of sleep.I feel you on the multiple teeth at once. The upper incisors and molars have broken through. I've seen a little blood in his mouth so the bottom molars are cutting through with the incisors right behind them. I'll be so happy when we're done with this.

      October 11, 2012 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
  12. Becky

    I use frozen waffles!! Works much better!

    May 4, 2011 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Grandma

    Old old remedy...clove oil...numbs the gums works for babies and adults. Oh and ice works good too. Never give your child drugs if they aren't actually sick...always a bad idea.

    May 4, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. john

    Whiskey works and it's been tested for generations. I'm a father of three.

    May 4, 2011 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Anonymous MD

    Herbs are chemicals. Over the counter medication and prescription medications are all chemicals. For teething, no chemicals are necessary nor are proven as safe as PATIENCE. So much for genuinely holistic medicine.

    May 4, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Shuhei

    Teething already? Hope Julien is btteer. It's cool that this late night shows can be seen in France. I tried to watch Conan but it was off my shift and time to sleep. Anyway, everything will be btteer. Hopefully, soon. Good thing you are well enough to look out for them.

    October 14, 2012 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
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