The FDA has issued a warning about using Benzocaine, an additive to many pain medications, on babies. Benzocaine is found in Anbesol and Orajel, which parents typically use on teething babies.
Benzocaine can cause a rare condition that is sometimes deadly in severe cases, called methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder that causes the oxygen being carried to tissues to drop really low.
Symptoms include: pale, gray skin, shortness of breath, blue colored lips and fingernails, racing heart, headache and light-headedness. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, seek medical attention immediately.
Adults can also be affected by the disorder, especially those that smoke, have heart disease, asthma or emphysema.
A chilled teething ring or messaging your teething babies gums with your finger are alternatives to using over the counter pain medications that may contain Benzocaine. Only use these medications when absolutely necessary, and no more than four times in 24 hours.