BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning on Friday that urged parents not to use homeopathic teething tablets of the brand Hyland. These products contain belladonna, also known as toxic nightshade, which is a toxic substance.
Standard Homeopathic Co. are the Los Angeles-based producers of Hyland and they took the product off the market on October 7th. They declare that they are concerned about the health of their customers and do not want to put them in a dilemma of choosing between the FDA advice and the statements that the Hyland products are safe.
Homeopathic teething products are a solution many parents have been resorting to since 1990 to ease the pain of babies who are growing their first teeth. However, laboratory results showed that Hyland teething tablets contain inconsistent amounts of belladonna. Thus, in 2010, FDA advised parents to keep away from these tablets. Since then, people reported many cases of side effects caused by teething products containing belladonna.
The adverse events that occurred were serious. The majority of them were cases of seizure. The FDA reported 10 cases of death during that period. However, the direct relation between these problems and the teething products has not yet been proven, but the researchers are actively looking for evidence.
FDA released a new warning in September. In October, Hyland discontinued their product, but the FDA continued to raise attention to the issue. Hyland responded that, although they took the product off market, they were still waiting for the official report on the risks of their homeopathic product.
Although the FDA laboratory study found belladonna in the product, Hyland insist on the fact that the amounts were within the safety limits, otherwise they would not have released it.
Such homeopathic teething products usually contain chamomile, which calms babies during colic, and calcarea carbonica, a substance made from shells. Yet some of them also have belladonna. The FDA argument is that children under 2 may give unpredictable responses to belladonna and they should not be put at risk.
Moreover, pediatricians recommend that parents should gently massage the children’s gums with a finger or give them a teething ring to chew on. They find these methods safer and more advisable than the use of teething tablets or gels.
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