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PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY July 2014 | Archived Issues

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FDA Warns Against Viscous Lidocaine for Teething Pain

Pharmacy Focus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health professionals and caregivers for infants that prescription oral viscous lidocaine 2 percent solution should not be used to treat infants and children with teething pain.

The FDA is requiring a boxed warning to be added to the prescribing information to highlight this information. Oral viscous lidocaine solution is not approved to treat teething pain, and use in infants and young children can cause serious harm, including death.

Topical pain relievers and medications that are rubbed on the gums are not necessary or even useful because they wash out of the baby's mouth within minutes, according to the FDA. When too much viscous lidocaine is given to infants and young children or they accidentally swallow too much, it can result in seizures, severe brain injury and problems with the heart.

The FDA recommends that parents and caregivers follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations for treating teething pain:

  • Use a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator (not frozen).
  • Gently rub or massage the child's gums with your finger to relieve the symptoms.

For more information, click here.