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FDA Strongly Urges Parents to Avoid Infant Teething Tablets

As any parent knows, teething feels like a phase that might never end. The constant irritability and tears have led many parents to turn to what feels like a safe, natural solution: homeopathic teething tablets. Amazon, CVS, Target, Walgreens and most major retailers used to carry at least one brand of the tablets, which claim to give parents and babies relief from the agony of teething. The Food & Drug Administration recently carried out their own laboratory studies on the tablets and found that many had high levels of belladonna, levels far surpassing what the label described. According to the FDA’s report, belladonna is a toxic substance that affects the central nervous system with inconsistent results that puts infants and children at unnecessary risk.

FDA Not as Strict on Homeopathic Medication Regulation 
It’s important to know that the FDA does have a say over homeopathic medications. The labeling, distribution, and sale of homeopathic medications is largely up to the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer and although the FDA has the ability to step in and oversee the labeling of these products, it rarely has done so. While it is unclear why the FDA finally decided to intervene, they made a strong point by urging all parents to avoid teething tablets. So strong that the products have become relatively hard to find in recent weeks. It is unclear as to whether or not news of 10 deaths and 400 teething-tablet reactions reported to the FDA were before or after the message the Administration released in late January.

Hyland’s Brand Posts Open Letter to Customers
The most well-known brand of teething tablets, Hyland’s, recently updated their website with a bold message: “This product is no longer being distributed in the United States.” The company also penned a letter to its customers, saying that the products they already have are considered safe and that they encourage parents to speak with their child’s pediatrician if they still aren’t sure if their use is safe. The company blames the FDA’s warning for scaring distributors and retailers from working with them, and says that while some retailers are still carrying the product, many have chosen not to.

Hyland’s finishes their letter with handwritten signatures of their employees and by showing their own children and family members who have used their teething products. While consumers are facing conflicting information from teething tablet manufacturers and the FDA, the choice is still up to the parent (if they can get their hands on the tablets in the first place). The real question is whether or not the tablets are worth it. Knowing there’s a risk of a severe reaction, we would argue that the risk greatly outweighs the benefit of a good night’s sleep and a few less tears.

If your child has used Hyland’s Teething Tablets or any other teething-relief product or brand and you suspect they have suffered serious side effects from these medications, please contact the Chicago injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers will be able to review your case and help you determine if you may have a claim against the manufacturer.