Health Canada is reminding parents and caregivers not to use products containing benzocaine for children under two years of age.

Benzocaine products may cause a serious blood condition called methemoglobinemia (MetHb), which reduces the ability of red blood cells to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Over-the-counter (OTC) products that contain benzocaine are used in children and adults for the temporary relief of minor pain from a variety of conditions, including: sore throat, toothache, canker sores, and mouth or gum irritation.

In the past, OTC benzocaine products were also used to treat teething pain.


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