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FDA warns consumers teething anesthetics such as Orajel could be deadly for young children

Photo: MGN Online

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers a common over-the-counter teething medication for infants and children under two could be deadly.

In a host of communications released by the agency this week, the FDA says products containing benzocaine "pose a serious risk to infants and children."

Benzocaine is used to treat sore gums, sore throats, and irritation in infants and children. The anesthetic can be found in such brands as Orajel, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orabase, and Topex.

The FDA says benzocaine shows no demonstrated benefit of use and could even be deadly.

"Benzocaine, a local anesthetic, can cause a condition in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood is greatly reduced. This condition, called methemoglobinemia, can be life-threatening and result in death," the FDA stated in a statement.

As a result, the FDA is calling on companies to stop marketing and selling their products for use in children. The FDA is also requesting new warning labels be added to communicate the risk to consumers.

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