Following reports about the adverse reactions to pain relievers, Health Canada is now evaluating the safety of benzocaine products.
Benzocaine is found in some of the commonly used over-the-counter creams such as anti-itch creams, sprays to alleviate pain from sore throats and creams to reduce pain of burns, and hemorrhoids.
Benzocaine is also found in mouth gels which can relieve toothache. They are also employed during dental procedures to make the mouth and throat numb.
There are some risks with the use of topical benzocaine products, and one of them which is rare yet serious is a blood condition known as methomoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a serious condition, when red blood cells are unable to deliver oxygen throughout the body.
Those sensitive to benzocaine products must watch for symptoms of breathlessness, headache, confusion, and nausea.