Every baby goes through the teething phase. For some, that phase can be excruciating. Parents never want to see their baby upset and in pain. If there is a medical remedy that eases pain, many parents use it without a second thought. Baby Orajel is one such medicine, but there are side effects that every parent needs to be aware of before using this medication.
The active ingredient in Baby Orajel, in any form, is benzocaine. Benzocaine is a commonly used pain reliever, because it numbs nerve endings. Parents need to check what the active ingredient is in any medication they give their children because it is that ingredient that will most likely cause a reaction.
Serious Side Effect of Benzocaine
Benzocaine has been linked to a condition called methemoglobinemia. This is when there is too much hemoglobin in a person's red blood cells. According to the FDA, this complication tends to only occur when the medication is used incorrectly, either from too large of a dose or if used for a longer period of time than recommended. If the patient gets a gray/blue skin color during use of this medication, it is possible that she has too much hemoglobin in her blood.
If while using Baby Orajel your baby gets hives, has difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, call 911, or your local emergency services, immediately. These side effects can be caused if your child is given too much Baby Orajel and swallows some, which could numb his throat.
Other Common Side Effects
Some side effects from Baby Orajel are not life threatening, such as a mild burning or itching to the area the gel is applied. Some children might get red in the area the gel is applied or white flakes will appear where the gel was applied. These side effects are not overly dangerous, but parents should stop treatment and discuss future use with their doctor before using Baby Orajel again.
Baby Orajel can be an effective way to help ease the pain of a teething baby. According to Baby Orajel's label, the dose is a small pea-sized amount which the parent should rub directly to the spot that is hurting. Since the benzocaine will numb the area, the baby's pain should be immediately relieved. Once the gel has worn off, which should not take too long, the pain should have subsided. It is just important to use as directed either by a doctor or the label. If this does not work after the first application, then a different solution needs to be found because benzocaine should work immediately. .
Seeing a Doctor
Parents should always talk to their child's pediatrician before using any over-the-counter medications, including Baby Orajel. Some doctors have other solutions for soothing a teething child's pain. Also parents need to read the whole label to all medications they are considering giving to their child because the warnings and side effects are often listed on the label. If the information on the label is not complete, look for the active ingredient and search the FDA's website for side effects that you need to be aware of.