FDA raising awareness on meds for teething babies

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
The Food and Drug Administration officials are worried about serious side effects, even death.

On average, experts say children get one new tooth a month between the ages of six months and three years. A cry is sometimes an indicator.

PROVIDENCE, RI (NBC) - The Food and Drug Administration is issuing a warning about pain medication used on teething babies.

FDA officials are worried about serious side effects, even death.

On average, experts say children get one new tooth a month between the ages of six months and three years. A cry is sometimes an indicator.

But know this...

"Teething is a normal process," says Hasbro Children's Hospital doctor Patricia Flanagan. "Babies teethe often without us even noticing it."

But when parents do notice it, they want to make it better. They may reach for a medicated topical numbing gel.

Flanagan, the interim pediatrician-in-chief at Hasbro Children's Hospital, said it's gotten to the point where the FDA is taking a stand.

And it's not just prescription Lidocaine. It's over-the-counter Benzocaine, which comes in one strength for adults and another one for babies.

The FDA issued a warning about these products three years ago. The problem is this: if these numbing topicals are used inappropriately or too often - remember the numbing effects last only minutes - there can be consequences.

Flanagan said parents are better off using natural remedies.

Parents can also rub or massage baby's gums with a finger to help soothe the teething pain.


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