Generic Name: benzocaine topical (BENZ oh kane TOP ik al)
Brand Name: Americaine, Anacaine, Anbesol Gel, Benzodent, Cepacol Ultra, Dent-O-Kain, Dermoplast, Hurricaine, Kank-a, Lanacane, Medicone Maximum Strength, Numzident, Num-Zit, Orabase, Orajel, Oral Pain Relief, Outgro Pain Relief, Retre-Gel, Skeeter Stik, Solarcaine Aerosol, Sting-Kill, Topex, zilactin-B
Medically reviewed on March 29, 2017
What is Orajel?
Benzocaine is a local anesthetic (numbing medication). It works by blocking nerve signals in your body.
Orajel is used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by minor skin irritations, sore throat, sunburn, teething pain, vaginal or rectal irritation, ingrown toenails, hemorrhoids, and many other sources of minor pain on a surface of the body. Benzocaine is also used to numb the skin or surfaces inside the mouth, nose, throat, vagina, or rectum to lessen the pain of inserting a medical instrument such as a tube or speculum.
There are many brands and forms of Orajel available and not all brands are listed on this leaflet.
Orajel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Orajel used in the mouth or throat may cause methemoglobinemia (met-HEEM-oh glo-bin-EE-mee-a), a life-threatening condition in which the amount of oxygen in your blood stream becomes dangerously low. Do not use this medicine if you have ever had methemoglobinemia.
GET EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF METHEMOGLOBINEMIA: headache, tired feeling, confusion, fast heart rate, and feeling light-headed or short of breath, with a pale, blue, or gray appearance of your skin, lips, or fingernails.
Do not use this medicine on a child younger than 2 years old without medical advice.
An overdose of numbing medications can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood. Use the smallest amount of this medication needed.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use Orajel if you have ever had methemoglobinemia in the past.
An overdose of numbing medications can cause fatal side effects if too much of the medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your blood. This is more likely to occur when using a numbing medicine without the advice of a medical doctor (such as during a cosmetic procedure like laser hair removal). Be aware that many cosmetic procedures are performed without a medical doctor present.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have:
a personal or family history of methemoglobinemia, or any genetic (inherited) enzyme deficiency; or
if you smoke.
It is not known whether Orajel will harm an unborn baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether Orajel passes into breast milk or if it could affect a nursing baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are breast-feeding.
Do not use this medicine on a child younger than 2 years old without medical advice.
How should I use Orajel?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Use the smallest amount of medicine needed to numb the skin or relieve pain. Do not use large amounts of Orajel, or cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice.
Your body may absorb more of this medicine if you use too much, if you apply it over large skin areas, or if you apply heat, bandages, or plastic wrap to treated skin areas. Skin that is cut or irritated may also absorb more topical medication than healthy skin.
Do not use Orajel to treat large skin areas or deep puncture wounds. Avoid using the medicine on skin that is raw or blistered, such as a severe burn or abrasion.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
To treat minor skin conditions, apply a thin layer of Orajel to the affected area. If using the spray, hold the container 6 to 12 inches away from the skin. Do not spray this medication onto your face. Spray it instead on your hands and then rub it onto the face, avoiding contact with your eyes.
To treat hemorrhoids, apply the medication up to 6 times per day.
Clean the area with soap and water before applying Orajel. Wash your hands before and after inserting a rectal suppository.
Do not take a rectal suppository by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.
Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the benzocaine suppository.
Remove the wrapper before inserting the suppository. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands. Lie on your back with your knees up toward your chest. Gently insert the suppository into your rectum about 1 inch, pointed tip first.
For best results, stay lying down for a few minutes. The suppository will melt quickly and you should feel little or no discomfort while holding it in. Avoid using the bathroom for at least an hour after using the suppository.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse within the first 7 days of using Orajel. Also call your doctor if your symptoms had cleared up but then came back.
If you are treating a sore throat, call your doctor if the pain is severe or lasts longer than 2 days, especially if you also develop a fever, headache, skin rash, swelling, nausea, vomiting, cough, or breathing problems.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since Orajel is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Orajel applied to the skin can cause life-threatening side effects such as uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), coma, slowed breathing, or respiratory failure (breathing stops).
What should I avoid while using Orajel?
Avoid eating within 1 hour after using Orajel on your gums or inside your mouth.
Orajel is for use only on the surface of your body, or just inside the mouth, vagina, or rectum. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. Avoid swallowing the gel, liquid, or ointment while applying it to your gums or the inside of your mouth. The throat spray or oral lozenge may be swallowed gradually during use.
Orajel side effects
Orajel used in the mouth or throat may cause a rare but life-threatening condition called methemoglobinemia. In this condition, the amount of oxygen in your blood stream becomes dangerously low. This condition may occur after only one use of benzocaine or after several uses.
Signs and symptoms may occur within minutes or up to 2 hours after using Orajel in the mouth or throat. GET EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP IF YOU HAVE:
headache, tired feeling, confusion;
fast heart rate;
feeling light-headed or short of breath; and
pale, blue, or gray appearance of your skin, lips, or fingernails.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Orajel and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe burning, stinging, or sensitivity where the medicine is applied;
swelling, warmth, or redness; or
oozing, blistering, or any signs of infection.
Common side effects may include:
mild stinging, burning, or itching where the medicine is applied;
skin tenderness or redness; or
dry white flakes where the medicine was applied.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Orajel?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied benzocaine. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02.
More about Orajel (benzocaine topical)
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- Dosage Information
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- Support Group
- En Español
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- Drug class: topical anesthetics