Baby Orajel = No Bueno

Ellie’s been having some trouble sleeping lately and since it seems like she’s potentially teething, we thought we’d try Baby Orajel off a few people’s recommendations.  When we say we think she’s potentially teething, she’s been drooling like nobody’s business and gnawing on everything she can get her hands on. We had some Orajel, but it said not to use it on babies under 2 years old. When we were at Fred Meyer, we saw Baby Orajel and that it was okay for babies over four months.

Like I usually do with products like this, I started googling the ingredients. It just seems like it might not be a good idea to me to put things I can’t pronounce into my Ellie Belly’s mouth – call me crazy.  I googled all the inactive ingredients and nothing really seemed to scare me too much, some sweeteners, bonding agents, etc.  We were all clear.  One thing about the active ingredient, benzocaine, that sounded concerning to me on Wikipedia was this:

“Over-application of oral anesthetics such as benzocaine can increase the risk of pulmonary aspiration by relaxing the gag-reflex and allowing regurgitated stomach contents or oral secretions to enter the airway. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified healthcare professionals and patients that FDA continues to receive reports ofmethemoglobinemia, a serious and potentially fatal adverse effect, associated with benzocaine products.[8]Because it may be used in topical creams with a concentration as much as 20%, it is not difficult to administer a dose sufficient to cause this problem.”

Hmm, that sounds not so great, but when I looked on the package, there was only 7.5% benzocaine. Brian and I talked about it and only because Ellie seemed like she was in so much pain and we felt like we had tried everything else, we thought we’d give it a shot…bad idea! Brian put the ointment on her gums and she went ape. She was screaming and crying like nobody’s business. I was really concerned at this point because theoretically this product should be making my daughter feel better.

Brian was tending to Ellie and I went and googled “baby orajel crying” and came across more concerning stories from other parents. One, which sounded legitimate was found here: http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/orajel.asp

I went into the room to spell Brian and had him come out and read the article. After that, he thought it would be best for us to keep her up for an hour and make sure everything was fine. Everything was fine.  We automatically through the bottle away and wanted to share the information, so it’s hopefully helpful to others.

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