Teething products containing lidocaine to become 'P' medicines

All oral lidocaine-containing preparations indicated for use in infant teething pain are to be reclassified from General Sales List (GSL) to Pharmacy (P) medicines from the start of 2019.

Non-medicinal options, such as a teething ring or gum massage, should be the first line for relieving infant teething symptoms. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Non-medicinal options, such as a teething ring or gum massage, should be the first line for relieving infant teething symptoms. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

After reclassification, oral lidocaine-containing preparations for infant teething will be available only under the supervision of a pharmacist so that parents and carers can be given guidance on the management of infant teething symptoms.

In the latest Drug Safety Update the MHRA recommends that non-medicinal options, such as a teething ring or gum massage, should be the first line for relieving infant teething symptoms, and that use of lidocaine-containing products should be reserved for when simple measures have failed to provide sufficient relief.

If an oral lidocaine-containing preparation is recommended, parents or carers should be reminded to read the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) carefully with particular regard to the dose and administration instructions, and to seek medical attention if their child's condition doesn't improve. 

The MHRA also advises that sugar-free paracetamol or ibuprofen suspensions may also be used for the relief of teething symptoms. Parents and carers should be advised that other lidocaine preparations licensed for use in adults or for other conditions such as mouth ulcers should not be used for infant teething pain.

Parents and carers should also be advised not to use more than one lidocaine-containing preparation at the same time.

Updated oral lidocaine-containing products will be available in pharmacies from the start of 2019. Any remaining GSL packs will be supplied with an up-to-date PIL during the transition.

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