FDA warns against using homeopathic teething tablets, gels

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning parents that the use of homeopathic teething remedies could be harmful to children.

The FDA issued the warning Sept. 30, recommending that consumers stop using the tablets and gels immediately and “dispose of any in their possession” while the FDA investigates reports of seizures and other health problems.

“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.

The FDA has been monitoring reports of adverse reactions since 2010, when it issued a health alert over Hyland’s Teething Tablets after a lab found levels of belladonna, a substance harmful in large doses, were inconsistent in the product.

Hyland’s temporarily took the tablets off the market, but has since re-released the product after changing their manufacturing process to ensure consistent levels of belladonna.

Homeopathic teething products are distributed by CVS, Hylands and possibly others, but the tablets and gels that purportedly sooth painful gums in young children have no proven benefit and aren’t FDA-approved, according to the administration.

“Teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies,” said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.”