The question at the forefront of nearly every parent’s mind is “How can I keep my child safe and healthy?” Pregnant mothers take great pains to avoid exposure to anything that might be harmful to their growing baby. Most parents want to continue that same level of care after the child is born. But they may forget to thoroughly vet the medications their newborn or infant receives. 

That’s why it’s crucial for parents to be aware of the dangers of alcohol in neonatal formulations of medications used to treat infantile hemangioma (IH). In this article, we’ll explain the dangers of alcohol to infants and newborns. We’ll also explain how Hemangeol, which is specially formulated for infants, is a safe, accessible alternative to potentially dangerous medications that contain alcohol. Here’s why that matters.

The Toxic Effects of Benzyl Alcohol:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Vasodilation
  • Hypotension
  • Convulsions
  • Paralysis

While these potential effects of benzyl alcohol have been well-documented for at least the past 3-5 years, little is still known about how benzyl alcohol can affect neonates or sick, premature infants.

While Hemangeol contains no benzyl alcohol, its generic formulation does.

Why Benzyl Alcohol is a Cause for Concern

It’s well-known that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is concerned about mothers ingesting alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because the pharmacokinetics influence alcohol passing through breastmilk, passing from the mother’s bloodstream to an infant.

Hemangeol’s generic formulation contains 0.6% benzyl alcohol content. While that sounds like a small amount, it’s still unclear what amount of alcohol in medication formulas is considered toxic to a pediatric patient. Whenever possible, medications that contain alcohol should be administered cautiously to infants and newborns, since the data is still sparse. It’s unclear what levels of alcohol exposure are safe in newborns and infants.

Since there’s a readily-available, alcohol-free option to treat infantile hemangioma (Hemangeol), many parents prefer to opt for that option for greater peace of mind.

The Case Against Infantile Exposure to Alcohol

A 2018 study conducted by the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University found that pharmacokinetics influence how alcohol passes from the mother to infants through breastmilk. This has led to repeated warnings about ingesting alcohol while breastfeeding.

However, ethanol has been used for years in neonatal and infant liquid medications. Meanwhile, ethanol hasn’t been well-established as a safe ingredient for infants. According to a 2014 study conducted at Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, it’s still unclear what level of alcohol exposure is safe for neonates and infants.

In response to these findings and ethanol’s well-documented risks for infants, the FDA and AAP have both set limits on ethanol content in over-the-counter medications and recommend limiting exposure to ethanol-containing pediatric medications. The long- and short-term health effects of consistently exposing newborns and infants to ethanol have still not been well-established. Until it has, the FDA and AAP recommend that parents limit their children’s exposure to ethanol. They recommend only using ethanol-containing medications when necessary, and doing so with caution.

Benzyl alcohol is similar to ethanol in its chemical makeup and has little proof of safety in infants and newborns, which means it warrants the same levels of caution as ethanol. Since parents have an alcohol-free medication option available to them in Hemangeol, it’s no wonder so many parents opt for Hemangeol instead of the generic formula.

What’s the Difference Between Hemangeol and Propanolol?

Propanolol is the generic version of Hemangeol. Since it’s formulated for adults, it contains small amounts of benzyl alcohol. This has been deemed safe for adult patients. 

However, in July 2020, the AAP reiterated their recommendation that parents completely avoid exposing their infants and newborns to alcohol in all forms unless absolutely necessary. This recommendation was based on 2 articles stating that children who were exposed to alcohol as infants scored lower on cognitive function tests by ages 6 and 7, compared to their peers who hadn’t been exposed to alcohol as infants.

The Further Case for Hemangeol

In addition to the safety concerns of the generic formulation’s alcohol content, Hemangeol has many other traits that make it an appealing option for parents. It’s the lowest-price drug formulated for orphans available in the United States, meaning it’s extremely affordable for most families. It’s the only FDA-approved treatment for infantile hemangioma (IH); there are no therapeutic equivalents on the market today.

Most importantly, Hemangeol is specially formulated for infants. It contains no sugar, no parabens, and no alcohol. The makers of Hemangeol know it’s important to keep your child safe and healthy, which is why the formula is completely free of ingredients that might put your child at risk.

An Affordable, Risk-Free Option

No parent should have to worry about paying for their child’s medication. That’s why the makers of Hemangeol have taken great pains to ensure all families can afford the medications their child needs to address their infantile hemangioma.

For families who may turn to the generic formula out of fear they can’t afford Hemangeol, there are plenty of options available to ease those fears. Hemangeol is covered by Medicaid. Those struggling to pay their copays can use a Hemangeol CoPay Card, which guarantees a copay of no more than $47 per refill. It’s often even lower, depending on insurance. Other families struggling to afford their copays can take advantage of PAP. 

We also guarantee quick delivery. Our goal is to have bottles shipped to patients within 72 hours so parents and infants don’t have to wait for relief.

Raising an infant is stressful enough without worrying about alcohol exposure and paying for medications. That’s why we recommend looking into your options to make Hemangeol, the only 100% alcohol-free treatment for an infantile hemangioma, affordable for your infant. Please find more information at: