Teething gels to go pharmacy only

Lidocaine-containing products used for teething are to be sold only in pharmacies, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced.

An MHRA review found there is a “lack of evidence of benefit to using products containing lidocaine for teething before non-medicinal options” and concluded that these medicines should only be used when other options, such as rubbing or massaging the gums or a cooled teething ring, have not proved effective.

Pharmacies are the best source of guidance and advice for parents with concerns around teething, the MHRA added.

“It’s natural for parents to be concerned if their baby is experiencing discomfort with sore gums when teething,” said Ash Soni, Royal Pharmaceutical Society president. He advises that pharmacies should provide parents and caregivers of teething babies with expert advice, including on “using a teething product containing lidocaine and how to use it safely”, if deemed the best course of treatment.

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