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FDA Warns New Parents Against Over-the-Counter, Prescription Teething Medications

Posted by copeland on July 31, 2014

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Teething is a tough time for babies and parents alike. It's painful and perhaps frightening for infants and toddlers, and exhausting for moms and dads who simply want to comfort their crying babies. A first stop in such situations often is the local drug store for an inexpensive, over-the-counter teething medication or a pediatrician's office for a prescription. But officials with the United States Food and Drug Administration say that prove a dangerous move.

Ina recently released statement FDA officials warn that prescription drugs containing viscous lidocaine, which is not approved for the treatment of teething pain, can cause seizures and other serious health problems in children. The agency is now requiring new warning labels for products containing the medication. Officials also warn that benzocaine, a local anesthetic commonly used in OTC teething medications including the long popular Anbesol and Baby Oragel, can contribute to reduced oxygen levels in the blood.

While they may seem safer intuitively, natural remedies also are potentially harmful, the FDA says. Officials note that some popular herbal and homeopathic medications contain unregulated forms of belladonna, a potentially toxic plant that can cause heart problems.

To help soothe your teething baby or toddler's pain, safety officials recommend the age-old practice of simply giving your child something hard and cool (not cold) to chew, such as a teething ring or a cool wet cloth. This can help dull the pain of swollen and tender gums and satisfy your child's innate urge to chomp. Rubbing your baby's gums with a clean finger or a soft toothbrush (no toothpaste) also helps. If your little one is having a particularly tough day and suffering a fever, a pediatric pain reliever can help, but be sure to consult with your child's doctor first.

If you have used an OTC or prescription teething medication to help soothe your child's discomfort and believe that it may have contributed to health problems, get medical attention for your baby immediately. Then, contact a personal injury or dangerous drugs attorney with Central Florida's Todd E. Copeland and Associates at 407-999-8995 in Orlando or 407-847-7277 in Kissimmee.