Teething is not the happiest time for babies and parents alike, and many families might be tempted to turn to remedies that will ease the experience. But a new directive says it’s better to stick to the old-fashioned methods of coping.
The US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels on Friday, stating that these are potentially harmful to infants and children. The agency urges consumers to stop using such products and get rid of any they might have at home.
Homeopathic teething tablets and gels are marketed by CVS, Hyland’s and other healthcare companies, sold across the country in retail stores or online.
Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement that,
Teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies.
The FDA recommends for parents and caregivers to talk to their doctors about safe teething alternatives and to refrain from giving their children such products.
Homeopathic teething products are closely linked to seizures, lethargy, difficulty in breathing, muscle weakness, excessive sleepiness, constipation, difficulty in urinating or agitation. The FDA says parents and caregivers should seek immediate medical attention should their children exhibit any of these symptoms.
A 2010 safety alert prompted the agency to analyze the products and conduct testing on samples, following reports that homeopathic teething remedies caused the aforementioned health problems in children. These products have not yet been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safety and efficiency. There are no proven medical benefits for homeopathic teething merchandise as well, which manufacturers say relieve teething in children.
Consumers can report any incidents related to such teething treatments on the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. The agency states that it will release information to the public as soon as further investigation into the matter is completed.
CVS has taken the directive to heart, swiftly pulling off all of its teething products off retailers’ shelves, and placing a “do not sell” block on them in case customers attempt to buy any.