FDA And Hyland Argue About Actual Effects Of Homeopathic Teething Tablets

Image courtesy of Chung Chu

Teething means frazzled parents and inconsolable babies, and parents who would try just about anything to soothe their child. Yet homeopathic remedy maker Hyland’s has responded to a warning last week from the Food and Drug Administration telling parents not to give their children homeopathic tablets or drops when teething.

Don’t confuse homeopathic remedies with natural remedies, like cough syrups using honey: even product labels sometimes confuse the two. Homeopathy is based on the theory that diluting substances to undetectable amounts turns resulting water into a remedy.

Since the list of medicines that small babies can have is pretty short, homeopathic remedies are popular among parents. The problem, the FDA warned last week, is that some children have had unexpected symptoms after using homeopathic teething tablets, and the agency is testing the products to find out why.

The FDA doesn’t know what might be causing these symptoms, or even whether they’re linked to the tablets at all, but has warned parents not to use the products. CVS, the country’s second-largest drugstore chain, has pulled homeopathic teething products from shelves.

If they do, the agency warns caregivers to look out for “seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation” after administering the tablets.

Hyland’s, a popular maker of homeopathic remedies, released its own statement responding to the FDA, pointing out that it is cooperating fully with the FDA’s investigation, and demanding to know what information the warning is based on.

One controversial ingredient in teething tablets is belladonna, an herb with a variety of traditional uses, including as a painkiller. Yet the belladonna in the teething tablets poses no risk, Hyland’s reassures parents, since there’s only two trillionths of a milligram of belladonna in each tablet.

Hyland’s responds to FDA teething tablet warning [Drug Store News]