John Smith, PAGB Chief Executive, comments:
“We welcome new research* on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, however these findings should not concern or worry parents.
“All OTC medicines in the UK are rigorously assessed for safety and efficacy before they are licensed and are monitored once on the market. As an industry, we take very seriously the information provided to consumers about over-the-counter medicines to make sure people have the right information to choose a product that meets their needs.
“The products considered in the study contained alcohol at very low appropriately safe levels, this ensures the product does not spoil and ensures the solubility of the active ingredients. None of the products licensed in the UK contain sucrose.
“The MHRA review of lidocaine hydrochloride in the UK in December 2018 concluded that lidocaine is an appropriate second line treatment for teething pain in children over five months when used according to instructions.
“Lidocaine teething gels are available from pharmacies in the UK, which means people can receive advice from an expert healthcare professional when purchasing the product. Pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals and are best placed to advise parents and caregivers of when and how lidocaine teething products should be used.
“Parents and carers must always read the label and follow the dosage instructions very carefully to ensure that they give the right amount for the child’s age and weight.
“It is also vital that parents and carers store all medicines safely out of the reach and sight of children and put them away immediately after every use.”
*Study of 14 teething products by Public Health Wales, led by Nigel Monaghan, published in British Dental Journal