Q: When do babies start teething? What are the symptoms?
A: On average, children begin teething around 4 to 7 months. The common symptoms include mild irritability, fever, drooling, and an urge to chew.
Q: What is the FDA warning about?
A: FDA warns the use of teething gel contains Benzocaine. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic which may cause a life threatening condition called methemoglobinemia (reduce of oxygen carried through the blood).
Q: Is there Benzocaine teething product in Malaysia?
A: According to natioanal drug database, we do not have teething product which contains Benzocaine. It is found in ulcer medication and only recommended for children above 2 years old. However, we do have teething product which contains Lidocaine. Both Lidocaine and Benzocaine are local anesthetic which might lead to methemoglobinemia.
Q: What if my baby cries because of teething ?
A: You can visit your doctor or pharmacist to ask for teething gels which do not contain the mentioned drugs. Besides, parent can gently rub or massage the child’s gums with fingers after washing the hands. Using a teething ring is another option. If fever is present, you may seek help from your doctor or pharmacist who will prescribe fever medicine according to your baby’s weight.
Note：This is a warning by US FDA. Do not panic if you children have used these teething gel before, please consult your doctor and pharmacist.
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1. FDA News Release : FDA takes action against the use of OTC benzocaine teething products due to serious safety risk, lack of benefit
https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm608325.htm [Accessed 25 March 2018]