snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Medical

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 26 April 2008, 07:22 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,459
Icon81 Orajel causes choking

Comment: I keep hearing giving Orajel (even the baby kind) to a teething
infant can cause choking and/or swallowing of the tongue because it so
readily numbs them. I can't believe that if it was really an issue, and
children were dying, it would still be on the market all these decades
later. I mean, they pulled infant cold medicine for less . . .
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 26 April 2008, 11:33 PM
Squishy0405's Avatar
Squishy0405 Squishy0405 is offline
 
Join Date: 15 December 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 2,298
Default

I don't think it has to deal w the numbness directly but rather the salivatation that occurs b/c of it (rapidly). It causes it to build up and due to the "flavor" when the back up occurs, it makes you cough. For someone (such as an infant) who can't steadily control reflexes it can cause a potential hazard.

I remember looking up similar information when Squishy was a toddler but it seems my reference no longer has it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 27 April 2008, 09:29 PM
franjava's Avatar
franjava franjava is offline
 
Join Date: 23 August 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,130
Icon97

I hate the phrase "swallowing your tongue." It's completely impossible to do so unless you first cut it out of your lower jaw. I know what they mean by it, but it's still an annoying phrase.

I never had a problem with babyjava and Orajel (or the knockoff brands) nor have I heard of any other parent having issues. Besides, IIRC, it doesn't completely deaden the area, it just takes the edge off the pain.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 28 April 2008, 12:48 AM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
Join Date: 19 December 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 1,236
Default

I remember hearing about that too, from a pharmacist no less... I never had a problem with halfmetal choking or anything. but we also never fed him after giving him orajel. which is what we heard caused the choking. because it can numb the tongue and baby's apparently use their tongue a lot for swallowing. I don't know, it was never a problem for me, but anecdote is not data, but it helped him sleep. Which during teething is a welcome break!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02 May 2008, 02:28 PM
PallasAthena's Avatar
PallasAthena PallasAthena is offline
 
Join Date: 13 September 2005
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 6,621
Default

We are deep in teething right now with DD, and our pediatrician specifically told us not to use orajel or anything similar. Apparently, it's quite easy to overdose them (1/4 tsp?), and an overdose can inhibit the ability of the blood to take up oxygen. I don't know the medical term for that, though.


I am also having a hard time finding a cite, but I don't have access to medical journals. Nothing I'm finding is particularly specific.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02 May 2008, 07:42 PM
Guineh
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Coincidentally, I just posted about this in another thread. I can't remember where I read it, but the literature did say to use caution when administering Orajel or similar, it can be absorbed through the skin, causing methemoglobinemia, and if too much is used at one time, it can run back to the baby's throat and numb the throat causing swallowing difficulties (which can lead to choking)

I just wish I remembered where I read it so I can give a decent cite.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02 May 2008, 08:50 PM
PallasAthena's Avatar
PallasAthena PallasAthena is offline
 
Join Date: 13 September 2005
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 6,621
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guineh View Post
Coincidentally, I just posted about this in another thread. I can't remember where I read it, but the literature did say to use caution when administering Orajel or similar, it can be absorbed through the skin, causing methemoglobinemia, and if too much is used at one time, it can run back to the baby's throat and numb the throat causing swallowing difficulties (which can lead to choking)

I just wish I remembered where I read it so I can give a decent cite.
You sure did! I also posted something similar in the same thread. I've got teething on the brain these days!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02 May 2008, 09:19 PM
Aud 1 Aud 1 is offline
 
Join Date: 05 October 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 6,934
Default

Can Med Assoc J. 1981 Oct 15;125(8):816.

Benzocaine-induced methemoglobinemia.

McGuigan MA.

There are a bunch more. This is one of the few with free online access.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01 July 2008, 03:50 AM
Ezri
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I remember quite some time ago my dad was telling me about how he wanted to invest in pacifiers with a numbing agent in them to help when a kid is teething, but the product never made it to market because it would numb the kids throat and cause choking.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 23 July 2008, 10:21 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,459
Icon97 Baby Orajel warning

Comment: I received the following this afternoon:


Subject: Baby Orajel warning


Dear all,

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Some of you already know, but
we wanted to make everyone aware of a terrifying experience that we had
over the weekend. Thank g-d, everything's ok now but we thought friends
and family would want to be aware and would want to advise others with
babies.

Zane's been teething pretty badly for the past few days, and we decided to
give him Baby Orajel on Sunday afternoon. We 've given it to him a few
times previously, when his first two teeth cut through, and never had a
problem. Scott and I were both sitting with Zane on the floor in his room
when I rubbed a dosage on his upper gum. Seconds after I gave it to him,
he made a face as if he were crying but no noise came out. I picked Zane
up and he immediately went limp in my arms and his face turned blueish.
He was not panicking or gasping for air - he was lifeless. This lasted
for approximately 15 seconds, but felt like an eternity. Words cannot
convey our feelings during that time (or even now, ever) as we attempted
to revive our son. No parent should ever experience such a feeling and no
person should ever see something like this happen to a loved one. Without
a doubt it was the scariest moment of our lives. Ultimately, Zane "came
to" and began to cry hysterically. Thank g-d!!!!!!!!

We spent the evening at the hospital , where Zane underwent numerous
tests, all of which came back normal. We also spoke with Zane's
pediatrician, who stated that she advises against the use of this product
because its purpose is to numb and if it gets into an infant's throat, it
may stop them from breathing. Obviously, we wanted to learn more about
this product and why this happened so we conducted some internet research.
Interestingly, we came across some postings of parents with similar
experiences. Further, one website listed a side effect as, "difficulty
breathing and grey/blueish face." Also , when we called Zane's daycare to
let them know what happened, the owner said that she's heard of this
happening before. It's surprising then that no such warning is on the
bottle and that more people do not discuss the negative and possible
deadly implications of the use of this product.

We don't want to imagine what could've happened if we had given this to
him at night, in his crib, as we (and many others) have done in the past,
and then walked away (although, of course we monitor him throughout the
night).

To reiterate, the reason we share the above with you is to strongly advise
you to throw away any Baby Orajel products you have at home and please
advise your friends and family of the same. Trust us, it's not worth the
possible side effects.

Best,

Scott and Allison
Allison Ginsberg
Human Resources Manager
Juicy Couture
t 212.626.3507 | f 212.626.5454
allison_ginsberg@juicycouture.com
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 23 July 2008, 10:43 PM
inkrose115's Avatar
inkrose115 inkrose115 is offline
 
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,046
Default

From what I can tlel baby Orajel contains (among other things) Benzocaine. Yes, it can cause choking if too much is used, and it's not recommended for use in very young babies. It's possible the person misused it.

The mayo Clinic
Quote:
* Infants and children 4 months to 2 years of age—Apply a small amount of the 7.5% or 10% benzocaine gel to sore gums up to four times a day.
* Infants up to 4 months of age—Use and dose must be determined by your health care professional.
Quote:
Benzocaine may be absorbed through the skin of young children and cause unwanted effects. There is no specific information comparing use of other topical anesthetics in children with use in other age groups, but it is possible that they may also cause unwanted effects in young children.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 23 July 2008, 11:52 PM
RivkahChaya's Avatar
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
Join Date: 14 July 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 12,275
Default

We never used that with our son, as I thought it could numb his tongue, and that would be odd and uncomfortable for him. After he was four months, we talked with his doctor, and she told us the appropriate dose of infant Tylenol for him. We only used it when he couldn't sleep because of teething pain. Otherwise, teething rings, and cold water cloths helped pretty well.

This hippie I work with tried to get me to use a homeopathic teething "remedy," which I googled, and it turned out the "active ingredient," if I can use the term, in it, was belladonna. So it either contained plain water, or deadly nightshade. I didn't spend the $7 for three tiny vials of it. The generic acetominophen was $1.96 for a bottle with like 30 doses, and actually worked.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 24 July 2008, 12:13 AM
AnglRdr's Avatar
AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
Join Date: 06 June 2002
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 50,682
Default

The big problem with Orajel is it is extremely saliva-soluble, so in a teething baby's mouth, it doesn't last very long. Tylenol is usually a better option, generally because fevers can accompany teething.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.