However, this is actually not necessary, because benzocaine products will only serve to relieve temporary pain when the baby is teething. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic. This product is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines that are given to babies to reduce pain in the mouth or gums in a variety of conditions. Usually this benzocaine product comes in the form, sprays (sprays), liquid, gel form, and throat lozenges. Meanwhile, products made from benzocaine cannot be given carelessly to babies, without a prescription and doctor’s supervision. To know more about benzocaine. Here is a further explanation.
What Is Benzocaine?
Benzocaine is a local anesthetic found in over-the-counter medicinal products such as Orajel, Baby Orajel, Hurricane, Orabase, Anbezol and Baby Orahel. The content of benzocaine is also found in the form of fluids and gels that relieve pain in the mouth and gums of babies.
The dangerous thing about using benzocaine is that its side effects can cause a rare but deadly condition called methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a condition that occurs as a result of the reduced amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream. In this condition children under 2 years of age are at special risk.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) organization was the first to warn of the potential dangers of benzocaine in 2006, which has since received 29 case reports of the association between benzocaine gel and methemoglobinemia. Of which 19 cases, 15 of them involved children under 2 years of age.
Symptoms of Methemoglobinemia According to the FDA
In addition to receiving case reports due to benzocaine, the FDA also noted that the symptoms of methemoglobinemia are difficult for parents to recognize, which makes them often misinterpret the disease. The symptoms that can occur in infants who have methemoglobinemia conditions due to the use of benzocaine, which are characterized by a pale body or skin, shortness of breath, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, lips and nails that turn blue and a heartbeat that is beating faster than usual.
Usually, these symptoms can occur a few minutes or even a few hours after consuming benzocaine, either for several times or more. If this condition occurs after consuming benzocaine, parents should immediately contact the nearest doctor or hospital to get more appropriate treatment.
So how is this methemoglobinemia treated?
The onset of methemoglobinemia conditions that arise as a result of using benzocaine may require treatment with medication to hospitalization. Some serious cases should also be treated immediately. If not, or treatment is delayed, it is feared that it can cause permanent injury that can attack the body and brain tissues. At worst, it could lead to death, due to the insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood. As for other alternatives to treat toothaches in children, as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics to parents is to rub fingers or massage the child’s gums slowly.