FDA Urges Parents to Throw Out Potentially Toxic Homeopathic Teething Tablets

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Hyland’s teething products may say homeopathic, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the products might actually be poisoning your child. According to the FDA, these teething products contain belladonna, a toxic substance also known as deadly nightshade. Parents should stop using them immediately, the FDA warned.

“The body’s response to belladonna in children under two years of age is unpredictable and puts them at unnecessary risk,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We recommend that parents and caregivers not give these homeopathic teething tablets to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.”

The maker of Hyland’s, Standard Homeopathic Co., discontinued the teething product on October 7.

“We discontinued it because we are committed to our moms and our dads who choose to trust us to put medicines in their young infants’ mouths, and we didn’t want to put them in a place between the FDA warning and us saying the product was safe and having to decide who to trust,” said Mary C. Borneman, a spokeswoman for Hyland’s.

Related: Give Peanuts to Infants? New Allergy Recommendations May Surprise You

This is not the first time Hyland’s teething products have come under fire. In 2010, the FDA issued a safety alert against Hyland’s Teething Tablets due to laboratory results which showed inconsistent amounts of belladonna. Since then, the FDA has received over 400 reports of adverse reactions to the teething product.

Most describe serious adverse events, like seizures,” said Lyndsay Meyer, a spokeswoman for the FDA. “We are also aware of reports of 10 deaths during that time period that reference homeopathic teething products.”

The deaths are not yet confirmed to be directly related to the teething product, Meyer added.

Related: Children’s Teething, Ear Products Recalled Due to Possibly Toxic Ingredient

In November, 2016, Rarity Pharmaceutical — a company that also produces homeopathic teething products — issued a recall after the FDA warned that their products contained levels of belladonna extract that varied from what the labels stated. The Rarity products recalled included CVS Homeopathic Infants’ Teething Tablet, Kids Relief Homeopathic Ear Relief Oral Liquid, and CVS Homeopathic Kids’ Ear Relief Liquid.

Danielle Tarasiuk
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.
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