If you’ve been using homeopathic chewing products, including tablets and gels sold by Hyland’s or CVS, there could be a risk. After reports of infant seizures, the FDA released a Sept. 30 advisory warning parents to avoid these remedies.
“Consumers should seek medical care immediately if their child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using homeopathic teething tablets or gels,” the FDA said in its statement.
Homeopathy is an alternative medical practice that operates on a “like cures like” model, meaning that a small, diluted dose of a toxic substance becomes a cure for the symptoms it could cause at a higher dose. While homeopathic teething tablets are available at most drugstores, they are made with “natural” compounds that aren’t regulated by the FDA.
Hyland’s Homeopathic has issued a response to the most recent FDA advisory on its website: “There is no current recall of Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets … Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets have safely treated the pain associated with teething for more than 85 years. There is NO scientific link between homeopathically-prepared belladonna, or Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets, and seizures.”
“Teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies,” says Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends one of the following cold items, as the cold acts as an anesthetic for gums:
- Clean wet washcloths
- Frozen bagels or bananas
- Refrigerated teething rings