FDA Takes Action Against Teething Products, Makers

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"Due to the significant safety risk of methemoglobinemia, we have urged manufacturers that they should stop marketing over-the-counter oral drug products for treating teething in infants and children younger than 2 years".

Over-the-counter products containing the anesthetic substance benzocaine are marketed to ease the pain of gums made sore by teething.

The agency has been warning about the products for a decade but said reports of illnesses and deaths have continued.

The academy has noted that pain relievers and gels used on the gums of teething children are generally not effective because they wash out of a baby's mouth within minutes, FDA said. Those symptoms include pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, lightheadedness and rapid heart rate.

Federal health officials are warning parents about the dangers of teething remedies that contain a popular numbing ingredient. They're concerned about an ingredient - the drug benzocaine. If any of these symptoms occur, the child should receive immediate medical care, the FDA said.

The FDA had previously warned about risks associated with benzocaine products for methemoglobinemia.

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The FDA has asserted that if these product-manufacturing companies do not stop selling them, FDA will take strict actions against the companies to ban these products out of stores. The FDA has been warning consumers about these products for years, and now it is taking more serious action.

The FDA has been warning parents about gum-numbing products for years, but chose to take this tougher stance because of continuing concerns about the health and safety risks posed by these products. "In addition, we are adding warning statements to more clearly identify the risks and symptoms presented by methemoglobinemia, a rare but serious condition associated with the use of benzocaine".

The FDA issued warnings about the teething products in 2006, 2011 and 2014, but it did not call for their removal from the market.

Those cute little pearly whites that you see when babies smile are absolutely adorable, but teething is no picnic for babies - or their parents.

The traditional recommendation of a gentle massage with your fingers on your child's gums is the go-to treatment.

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