The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] recently alerted the public about the use of benzocaine gels("numbing medicine" for teething and throats), liquids and sprays in children under two years of age. In any concentration the main ingredient, benzocaine, has been associated with methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a rare disorder but unfortunately can be deadly. This disorder prevents blood from properly carrying oxygen to the cells. Signs of methemoglobinemia may include pale, gray or blue colored skin, lips, and fingernails; a child may also experience headaches, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, and rapid heart rate.
Products that include benzocaine are: Baby Orajel, Anbesol, Hurricane, Orabase and other store brands. Pediatric Health Associates [PHA] recommends NOT using any benzocaine products in children under two years of age.
If you feel as though your child is experiencing pain from teething, we recommend using Children's Tylenol, 160mg/5mL for all ages. PHA no longer suggests using Infant Tylenol drops even for our younger patients. This is not to make life difficult but to ensure the safety of all children in the practice. This suggestion comes directly from Johnson and Johnson in their efforts to decrease confusion and errors. They will be removing Infant Tylenol Drops from the market mid-year and the standard concentration for Acetominophen will be 160mg/5mL for all children.
You may find the dosing chart at: