What Is The Difference Between Anbesol And Orajel?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the difference between Anbesol and Orajel.
Are Anbesol and Orajel the same thing? If not, what is the difference between the two?
- Anbesol and Orajel are both brand names, each with several different available over-the-counter products that are used for the treatment of oral health problems.
- Most Anbesol and Orajel products are similar, with the majority containing the topical anesthetic (numbing agent) benzocaine.
- Orajel has a wider variety of products and formulations available when compared to Anbesol products.
Hello and thank you for your question!
There is very little difference between many Anbesol and Orajel products.
Anbesol and Orajel are both brand names, and you'll find both names on a variety of different products that help with oral health problems such as cold sores, toothaches, denture pain, and canker sores.
In fact, many of Anbesol and Orajel products are essentially the same.
For example, Anbesol Maximum Strength Gel and Orajel Maximum Toothache and Oral Pain Relief both contain the same active ingredient, Benzocaine 20%, an oral anesthetic, that helps numb the applied area and provide pain relief.
Anbesol And Orajel Comparison
The products differ mostly in the amount of benzocaine they contain, ranging from 5% to 20%. However, there are some Anbesol products that contain different or additional ingredients.
Below is a tablet that compares all of the Anbesol and Orajel products:
|Product||Active Ingredient(s)||Dosage Form|
|ANBESOL Gel Maximum Strength||Benzocaine 20%||Gel|
|ANBESOL Liquid Maximum Strength||Benzocaine 20%||Liquid|
|ANBESOL Gel Regular Strength||Benzocaine 10%||Gel|
|ANBESOL Liquid Regular Strength||Benzocaine 10%||Liquid|
|Orajel Medicated For Toothache Gel||Benzocaine 10%||Gel|
|Orajel Maximum Toothache & Oral Pain Relief Swabs||Benzocaine 20%||Topical Swabs|
|Orajel Toothache Strips Medicated for Toothache & Gum||Benzocaine 15mg; Menthol 2.5mg||Strips|
|Orajel Toothache Rinse||Benzyl Alcohol 0.27%; Zinc Chloride 0.15%||Rinse|
|Orajel Medicated For Toothache & Gum Liquid||Benzocaine 20%: Menthol 0.1%||Liquid|
|Orajel 3X Medicated For Toothache & Gum Gel||Benzocaine 20%; Menthol 0.26%; Zinc Chloride 0.15%||Gel|
|Orajel 4X Medicated For Toothache & Gum Gel||Benzocaine 20%; Menthol 0.5%; Zinc Chloride 0.15%; Benzalkonium Chloride 0.13%||Gel|
|Orajel PM 4X Medicated For Toothache & Gum PM Cream||Benzocaine 20%; Menthol 0.26%; Zinc Chloride 0.15%; Benzalkonium Chloride 0.13%|
(Also contains chamomile)
|Orajel 4X Medicated For Toothache & Gum Cream||Benzocaine 20%; Menthol 0.26%; Zinc Chloride 0.15%; Benzalkonium Chloride 0.13%||Cream|
The next section contains some information on the drug Benzocaine.
Benzocaine is a local anesthetic, that can be used topically or orally for pain relief. When found in products like Anbesol Maximum Strength Gel and Orajel Maximum Toothache and Oral Pain Relief Swabs, it is being used for oral pain.
Benzocaine is generally well tolerated with the following adverse reactions possible:
- Localized burning/stinging sensation
- Localized rash
- Hypersensitivity reactions
A rare, but serious, reaction called methemoglobinemia is possible with the use of Benzocaine, especially in higher concentrations. Should any of the following reactions occur, you should stop use immediately and seek immediate medical attention:
- Pale colored skin
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate
For this reason, the FDA does not recommend using Benzocaine in children under the age of 2. They are at an increased risk for the development of methemoglobinemia. Non-Pharmacologic measures should be tried in teething children, such as massaging the gums or giving the child a cold, teething ring.
In conclusion, most Anbesol and Orajel products contain the same active ingredient, Benzocaine. Individual products may differ slightly in the amount of benzocaine, or additional ingredients in the case of Anbesol products, they contain.
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
- 6810 views