Most of my readers and patients know that I have never recommended Hyland's Teething Tablets, so it is no surprise to me that the FDA has declared a recall on this product.
Because the tablets are homeopathic, the FDA has not been required to assess them for safety or therapeutic benefit. (A convenient loop hole in the lucrative alternative medicine industry.)
The teething tablets contain a small amount of belladonna, which is a known toxin to the nervous system. So, how the heck it is sitting on grocery store shelves has always been a mystery to me!!!
The FDA has stepped in now though, because they have received reports of children having adverse reactions, which are what you would see from belladonna toxicity. The FDA laboratory tested the teething tablets and found that there are inconsistent amounts of belladonna in the product. They (appropriately!) feel that the amount of belladonna should be more tightly regulated—considering what effect it can have in larger doses (like seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation). Furthermore, the tablets are not contained in childproof packaging, making it easier for a young child to take as many tablets as he wants. And yes, the FDA has also received reports of adverse reactions in kids from that exact scenario.
So, what should you do if you have Hyland's Teething Tablets in your medicine cabinet? Toss 'em.
Yes, the teething tablets are "100% natural"—but so is cocaine, and you've never give that to a baby, right? Be an informed consumer. Just because it's natural, doesn't mean it is safe.
And, while we are on this subject, teething gets blamed on fussy moods, disrupted sleep, runny noses, and diarrhea. RARELY is teething the cause of any of these maladies! If you want a natural teething remedy, try freezing a mini bagel or banana, and let your little one gnaw on that!