Bonjela is used as a teething and mouth ulcer gel. Find out how to apply it safely and possible side effects.
What is Bonjela?
In New Zealand, Bonjela is used as a teething and mouth ulcer gel. It contains a mild pain reliever called choline salicylate which is used to help ease pain and discomfort.
Mouth ulcers: Bonjela is applied to the inside the mouth and gently rubbed into the affected area for mouth ulcers.
Teething pain: Bonjela is also used in babies to relieve teething pain but there is little evidence that teething gels are effective and most of the gel is likely to be quickly removed by the tongue and saliva. Read more about teething.
Bonjela can be bought over the counter at your pharmacy.
Why is using Bonjela a concern in babies?
The active ingredient in Bonjela is choline salicylate, which can be very harmful to babies if too much is given. It can cause salicylate poisoning. When using Bonjela in babies, it is important to follow instructions and avoid overuse.
How to use Bonjela safely in babies
Do not use Bonjela in babies less than 4 months old.
In babies older than 4 months, follow the dosing instructions on the packaging or ask your pharmacist about how to use the gel correctly.
- Rub a small quantity of gel (a pea-sized amount, or cover the tip of your index finger) to the affected area no more than every 3 hours and do not use it more than 6 times in 24 hours.
- You can overdose your baby by applying too much gel or using it too often.
What are the signs of salicylate poisoning/Bonjela overdose?
The symptoms of overdose are vomiting, unusual sleepiness, fever and rapid breathing. Call Healthline free (within New Zealand) on 0800 611 116 or see your doctor urgently if you are worried about your child or think you may have given too much.
Using Bonjela in adults
For the treatment of mouth ulcers, wipe the surface free of mucus then cover the tip of the index finger with Bonjela and rub well into the affected area. Do not use more often than every 3 hours.
Do not apply Bonjela to dentures. If using Bonjela, remove your dentures and wait at least 30 minutes before putting your dentures back in.
- Choline salicylate New Zealand Formulary