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Benzocaine Side Effects May Lead To Methemoglobinemia Lawsuits

Benzocaine, Methemoglobinemia | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Benzocaine, Spray, Gel, Liquid | Side Effects: Injury, Pale, Gray or Blue Colored Skin, Lips, Nail Beds; Headache, Lightheadedness, Shortness of Breath, Fatigue, Rapid heart rate

Benzocaine sprays, gels, and liquids, used as anesthesia during medical procedures and as a treatment for tooth and gum pain, have been associated with a serious and potentially fatal blood disorder called methemoglobinemia. Benzocaine sprays are marketed under different brand names such as Hurricaine, Cetacaine, Exactacain, and Topex. Benzocaine gels and liquids are sold under the names Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and store brands. In April 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert about this risk, but benzocaine product labels do not currently contain a warning about their association with methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a disorder characterized by the presence of a higher than normal level of methemoglobin (metHb) in the blood.

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with methemoglobinemia following use of a benzocaine product, you may be entitled to compensation. Our benzocaine injury lawyers are offering free lawsuit evaluations to anyone who suffered this blood disorder because of one of these products. To find out how we can help, please contact one of our benzocaine injury lawyers today.

Benzocaine Methemoglobinemia

Methemoglobinemia is a rare, but serious condition in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced. In the most severe cases, methemoglobinemia can result in death. Patients who develop methemoglobinemia may experience signs and symptoms such as pale, gray or blue colored skin, lips, and nail beds; headache; lightheadedness; shortness of breath; fatigue; and rapid heart rate.

The FDA first warned about methemoglobinemia associated with the use of benzocaine sprays in 2006. In the alert issued in April 2011, the FDA said it had received 72 new cases of methemoglobinemia, including three resulting in death, associated with the use of benzocaine sprays, bringing the total to 319 cases.

According to the FDA, methemoglobinemia involving benzocaine gels and liquids occurred mainly in children aged two years or younger who were treated with benzocaine gel for teething. Benzocaine products should not be used on children less than two years of age, except under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional.

According to the FDA, this side effect does not appear to be dose-related, because many reported cases occurred after administration of a single benzocaine spray. With liquids and gels, methemoglobinemia may occur after a single application or multiple applications, and can begin within minutes or hours of application. Methemoglobinemia has been reported with all strengths of benzocaine gels and liquids, including concentrations as low as 7.5%.

In its health alert, the FDA advised the following:

  • Benzocaine products should not be used on children less than two years of age, except under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional.
  • Adult consumers who use benzocaine gels or liquids to relieve pain in the mouth should follow the recommendations in the product label. Consumers should store benzocaine products out of reach of children. FDA encourages consumers to talk to their healthcare professional about using benzocaine.

Legal Help for Victims of Benzocaine Methemoglobinemia

If you or someone you love developed methemoglobinemia after using a benzocaine spray, gel or liquid, you may have valuable legal rights. To discuss your case with one of our benzocaine injury lawyers, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.


BenzocaineRSS Feed

FDA Updates Benzocaine Warning, Following 29 Reports of Injuries, Many to Children

Jul 30, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
Federal health authorities are urging parents to not use products containing the ingredient benzocaine to allay a baby’s teething pains due to the risk of a potentially life-threatening side effect.According to a HealthDay News report, the Food and Drug Administration warns that children 2 years old or younger face the highest, albeit small risk of developing methemoglobinemia, a condition that reduces the oxygen in the bloodstream.As children develop through their early years and start...

Teething Medications Linked to Blood Disorder, FDA Warns

May 6, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP
Parents who use products such as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase, have been warned that the active ingredient in such products - benzocaine - has been associated with a serious side effect called methemoglobinemia.  This rare blood condition can be life threatening.Unfortunately, labels for benzocaine sprays and gels do not currently contain a warning about their association with methemoglobinemia.Methemoglobinemia seriously reduces the amount of oxygen carried...

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