Following numerous reports concerning health risks from homeopathic teething products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued over the weekend a warning against the use of these remedies in children. This kind of teething tablets and gels can cause seizures, difficulty breathing, and muscle weakness, among many other potentially dangerous effects.

The agency is asking parents to get rid of these items in case they have already purchased them in chain pharmacy retailers. The warning has led CVS Health Corp Inc to withdraw their homeopathic teething products voluntarily.

The FDA issued a warning  against the use of homeopathic teething products in children. Photo credit: Robert Hainer / HenFamily
The FDA issued a warning against the use of homeopathic teething products in children. Photo credit: Robert Hainer / HenFamily

The statement released by the FDA Sep. 30 points out that these remedies can cause lethargy, skin flushing, excessive sleepiness, agitation, constipation, or difficulty urinating after being given homeopathic teething products.

Health organizations around the world argue the treatments are real medicine mainly because they have been marketed as having active ingredients in small doses, which is supposed to mean that they don’t pose any threat to anyone’s health. However, extensive research has proven that many of his products contain amounts of a single ingredient that significantly vary from a bottle to another.

“We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets to children and seek advice from their health care professional for a safe alternative,”  Dr. Janet Woodcock, head of the agency’s center for drug evaluation and research, according to a report by Medical Daily.

Dr. Woodcock noted that prescription or over-the-counter remedies were not essential to managing teething.

Reports continue six years after a safety advisory

The reports the FDA is currently investigating date back from 2010 when the agency warned specifically against a brand of homeopathic teething tablets sold by longtime retailer Highlands. At the time, health authorities said that the remedies’ active ingredient was belladonna, a plant that has the potential to be toxic and even deadly if administered in high enough doses. It used to be implemented as a muscle relaxant.

The advisory the FDA issued in 2010 read that the teething products involved had been made in a factory where the manufacturing operation was determined to have a poor control in an inspection carried out by the agency.

Last year, a woman from Texas claimed that her daughter had developed seizures after having taken Hyland’s teething tablets. The retailer denied that the products were dangerous to young children and said in a statement that it was cooperating with the investigation led by the FDA as well as providing authorities with all the information they have on the matter.

It is important to note that the FDA has not approved nor even evaluated the safety and efficacy of any homeopathic teething tablets, which are labeled to help relieve teething symptoms in kids. The agency encourages consumers of these products to report any adverse event caused by such remedies by completing and submitting the form via fax a1-800-FDA-0178.

Source: Food and Drug Administration