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FDA Warns of Serious Danger Linked to Orajel and Other Benzocaine Products

On April 7, 2011, the FDA released a safety alert warning of the dangers associated with Orajel use in children under the age of two and other consumers. According to the information from the FDA, use of benzocaine gels, liquids and sprays has been linked to methemogloinemia. Methemogloginemia is a rare, but very serious condition that can be life-threatening.

The FDA stated that children and adults can develop metheglobinemia within minutes or hours of using Orajel and other products such as Anbesol, Baby Oral, Hurricaine and other benzocaine products and even store brands. Due to the deadly nature of the condition, the FDA recommends that these products should not be used on children less than two years old, except under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional.

Some of the signs and symptoms of metheglobinemia are pale, gray or blue colored skin, lips and nail beds; shortness of breath and rapid heart rate. Because this condition causes the amount of oxygen in the blood stream to be reduced to dangerous levels, the FDA advises individuals to seek medical attention immediately if they experience any of these signs or symptoms.

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