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Benzocaine Topical Teething Products

Topical teething products containing benzocaine have been formulated to soothe the pain of teething in infants and children. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently reported that the use of benzocaine may increase the risk of a serious medical condition called methemoglobinemia. The symptoms of this condition include blue skin, lips, and nail beds, headache, lightheadedness, tiredness, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear after one application. Symptoms also may appear within a few minutes to a few hours after application. Because the majority of the children adversely affected by these benzocaine products were under two years of age, the FDA recommends that these products not be used in this age group except under the supervision of a healthcare professional. The safety of these products continues to be monitored by the FDA.

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