Anbesol vs Orajel – Which Is Better For Toothache & Canker Sores?

Anbesol

It is the brand name of a drug called benzocaine, a local anesthetic medication that works by blocking nerve signals in the body.

It also causes a temporary loss of sensory perception, particularly of pain in a restricted area of the body.

Inactive Ingredients – Carbomer 934P, Benzyl Alcohol, FD&C Blue No. 1, D&C Yellow No. 10, Methylparaben, FD&C Red No. 40, Glycerin, Polyethylene Glycol, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Saccharin, and Propylene Glycol.

Uses

This over the counter medication is typically used to relieve pain associated with canker sores (a shallow sore shaped like a crater on the inside of the cheek or lip), cold sores (painful, fluid-filled sores which occur on the mouth, lips, or nose and are caused by a virus), and toothaches.

Dosage

This anesthetic medication comes in a gel, liquid, or ointment form. For adults and children 2 years of age and older, the medication can be applied to the affected area up to 4 times per day.

Note – due to the risk of methemoglobinemia (a blood disorder in which too little oxygen is delivered to the cells), do not use this product for children younger than 2 years unless directed by your healthcare provider. Also, do not to exceed 7 days of treatment.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dry white flakes where the medication was applied;
  • skin tenderness or redness;
  • mild stinging where the medication was applied.

Rare side effects may include:

  • confusion;
  • fast heart rate;
  • tired feeling;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • headaches;
  • redness, warmth, or swelling where the medication was applied;
  • a blue appearance of the skin, lips, or fingernails;
  • blistering or any signs of infection;
  • severe sensitivity where the medication was applied.
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To be sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • a history of allergy to local anesthetics, like –  butacaine, procaine, benzocaine, or other “caine” anesthetics;
  • respiratory disorders, such as – bronchitis, bronchial asthma, or emphysema;
  • open damaged areas or wounds in the lining of the mouth since this may result in too much of the active ingredients being absorbed;
  • hepatic and/or renal impairments;
  • cardiovascular diseases, such as – congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, or uncontrolled hypertension;
  • high LDL or total cholesterol levels;
  • if you smoke tobacco;
  • a personal history of methemoglobinemia or other genetic enzyme deficiency;
  • metabolic impairments, such as – diabetes mellitus or thyrotoxicosis;
  • kidney disease.

Drug Interactionsantibiotics pill

The medication may negatively interact with other drugs, therefore, tell your healthcare provider if you have recently taken or are taking the following medicines:

  • itraconazole, a type of antifungal drug that is used to treat fungal infections;
  • other anesthetics, such as – mexiletine;
  • codeine phosphate, a medication which is used to treat pain or diarrhea;
  • erythromycin, a type of antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections;
  • non-ionic surfactants, like – Cetomacrogol 1000 and polysorbate 80;
  • methylcellulose, a medicine that is used to treat constipation;
  • trazodone;
  • quinine hydrochloride, a medication which is used to treat malaria or leg cramps;
  • papaveretum, a medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain;
  • diamorphine hydrochloride, a painkiller medicine that is used to treat severe pain;
  • terconazole;
  • calcium chloride, a medication that is used for the treatment of hypocalcemia;
  • beta-blockers;
  • diphenhydramine;
  • cimetidine, a medication that used to treat stomach ulcers or heartburn;
  • antiarrhythmic drugs, like – amiodarone.
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Orajeldrugs

It is the brand name of a drug called benzocaine, that is part of a class of drugs called local anesthetics or pain relievers. The medication numbs the affected area by blocking nerve signals in the human body.

The medicine is produced by Church & Dwight Co., Inc, a major American company which is based in Ewing, New Jersey, USA.

Uses

It is typically used to numb the skin or surfaces inside the nose, mouth, vagina, throat, or rectum to lessen the pain.

In addition, it is used to reduce pain caused by a sore throat, minor skin irritations, teething pain, cold sores, canker sores, sunburn, rectal or vaginal irritation, hemorrhoids, or ingrown toenails.

Dosage

The medication comes in a variety of over-the-counter formulations, that include tablets, rinses, gels, liquids, swabs, creams, and ointments. You make take one dose every 2 hours.

Note – the US FDA recommends that parents not use this local anesthetic for children younger than 2 years.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dry white flakes where the local anesthetic was applied;
  • skin tenderness or redness;
  • mild burning where the medicine was applied.

Rare side effects may include:

  • dark urine,
  • blistering or flaking of the skin;
  • difficulties with walking;
  • redness or stinging of the skin;
  • fever (high temperature);
  • headaches;
  • difficulties with breathing;
  • pale skin;
  • dizziness or lightheadedness;
  • rapid heart rate;
  • fainting;
  • shortness of breath;
  • inability to feel the feet or hands;
  • irritability;
  • a sore throat;
  • irritation of the nose;
  • unusual weakness or tiredness;
  • unusual drowsiness or feeling of sluggishness;
  • unusual bruising or bleeding;
  • red, sore eyes;
  • soreness or swelling of the skin where the local anesthetic was applied.
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Pregnancy

Since there are no well-controlled studies done in pregnant women, consult your doctor before using this local anesthetic if you are pregnant.

In addition, the medication may pass into breast-milk, therefore, avoid it, if you are breastfeeding an infant.

Anbesol vs Orajel – Which Is Better For Toothache & Canker Sores?

Both these brand medications contain the same active ingredient – benzocaine, a local anesthetic. Therefore, both have similar pain-reducing properties for a toothache and canker sores pain.

However, in the present day, the US FDA no longer recommends OTC products which contain benzocaine for reducing tooth pain since swallowing benzocaine (though is rare) can cause methemoglobinemia, a dangerous condition in which not enough oxygen is carried in the blood.

Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include:

  • shortness of breath;
  • pale or blue-colored lips, skin, and nail beds;
  • headaches;
  • rapid heart rate;
  • fatigue;
  • light-headedness;
  • confusion.

The above symptoms can occur within minutes after medication use. In addition, the symptoms can occur after using the local anesthetic for the first time or after a few uses.

Important note – if left untreated, due to the insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood, methemoglobinemia may cause severe injury to the brain and even death.

References

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20110505/fda-warns-about-teething-medication
http://pricelab.ca.uky.edu/files/cecala_et_al._2007_2.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3844156/

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