Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

New salicylate gel advice for under 16s

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued new advice regarding the use of salicylate containing dental and teething gels in children and young people under 16 years old. This new advice has been reported in the general media (BBC).

Several topical products that are indicated for dental and teething problems contain salicylate salts. These ingredients are similar to aspirin and there is a theoretical risk that a child developing may Reye's syndrome. The MHRA are not aware of any confirmed cases and this advice is a precautionary measure however there are currently three reports of serious adverse drug reaction resulting in hospital admission after exposure to choline salicylate.

The following products are based on topical anaesthetics and are unaffected by this announcement:

  • Bonjela® Teething Gel
  • Calgel®
  • Anbesol® Teething Gel
  • Anbesol® Liquid
  • Dentinox®

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this safety advice and ensure that suitable alternatives are recommended.

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