Federal health officials warned parents Wednesday about the dangers of teething remedies that contain a popular numbing ingredient and asked manufacturers to stop selling their products intended for babies and toddlers.
The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger.
The agency has been warning about the products for a decade but said reports of illnesses and deaths have continued. Now, it wants teething products off the market, noting there is little evidence they actually work.
“We urge parents, caregivers and retailers who sell them to heed our warnings and not use over-the-counter products containing benzocaine for teething pain,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, in a statement.
One major manufacturer, Church and Dwight Co. Inc., said Wednesday it would discontinue its four Orajel teething brands, including Baby Orajel and Orajel Medicated Teething Swabs.