Pharmacy Corner
Colic and Teething: Irritable, crying, fussy baby and it’s not a fever! Teething – Treatment Options

8. What are some available over-the-counter products?14,19

DrugDoseHow it worksSide effects
Acetaminophen See dosage charts: [maximum= 65 mg/kg/day] Reduces teething pain and discomfort, decreases high temperature if presentWell-tolerated
Ibuprofen See dosage charts: [maximum =40 mg/kg/day] Stomach upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)

*Take with food*
Teething gels that contain benzocaine(such as Anbesol, Orajel) Apply gel (7.5-10%) in a thin layer to affected gums using a cotton swab or finger

[maximum four times a day]
Numbs the area and relieves pain. It lasts for a short duration (30-45 minutes)Can prevent the gag reflex if swallowed (wait 1 hour before feeding baby)



  • Be careful with dosing: the concentration in your infant’s medication is higher than your children’s medication

  • Always dose according to weight, NOT age

  • Make sure you read the label before giving your child any medication

  • Health Canada recommends you stop using teething gels if the following signs of methemoglobinemia, a rare disorder, up to 2 hours after use occur20:

    • Weakness

    • Confusion

    • Headache

    • Difficulty breathing and/or

    • Pale, gray or blue coloured skin

Clinical Tip!

Clinical Tip!

When giving liquid medication to your child make sure you use the measuring device included with the medication or use an oral syringe

9. Which therapies should I NOT use for teething?14,19

  • Baby aspirin (increases the risk of a rare condition called Reye’s syndrome)
  • Products with alcohol
  • Teething biscuits (many contain sugar, which is bad for teeth and gums)
  • Rubbing pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil directly on your baby’s gums