The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents to avoid any gel or powder containing benzocaine for the treatment of children’s teething, as these products have been linked to a potentially deadly side effect known as methemoglobinemia, which causes oxygen in the blood to drop to unsafe levels.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one developed methemoglobinemia or other serious side effect from a teething medicine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
What is Benzocaine?
Benzocaine is classified as a “topical anesthetic”which is used to relieve pain associated with baby teething, sore throats, canker sores and mouth and gum irritation, according to the FDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
FDA said in a Drug Safety Alert issued on Wednesday that there is “accumulating evidence” that benzocaine has been linked to methemoglobinemia, a dangerous blood condition that can lead to death from lack of oxygen in the blood.
Which Teething Medicines Contain Benzocaine?
Benzocaine comes in various forms, including “gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges,” according to the FDA. Popular brands include:
- Baby Orajel
- Store brands and generics
A baby born with methemoglobinemia may have a bluish tinge to their skin (cyanosis), which might be apparent at birth or shortly afterward. Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Difficulties breathing
- Salivates excessively
- Loss of consciousness
This is not the first time the FDA has warned consumers about the methemoglobinemia potential of the products. In 2011, the agency estimated that there have been more than 400 cases of benzocaine-associated methemoglobinemia reported or published in medical literature since 1971. There are probably additional cases that weren’t documented.
It’s also not the first teething product that the FDA has cautioned against. In September 2016, the agency warned parents not to use homeopathic teething tablets and gels.
Do I Have a Teething Medicine Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in teething medicine lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new methemoglobinemia cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if your child developed methemoglobinemia or other serious side effect from an OTC teething remedy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.