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Homeopathic Teething Products May Have Caused At Least 10 Deaths, FDA Says

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The US Food and Drug Administration said that up to ten deaths of children who used homeopathic teething tablets and some 400 related incidents had been reported to them. On September 30, the agency recommended that health care providers and parents should stop using the products on their children, and to seek medical attention immediately should any problems arise.

The FDA is looking further into the deaths and incidents, saying in a statement that “the relationship of these deaths to the homeopathic teething products has not yet been determined and is currently under review,” CNN reports.
The said deaths and health problems, which include fever, vomiting, lethargy, tremors, sleepiness, irritability, shortness of breath and agitation, all took place over the past six years.

Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine that rests on the theory that natural substances that might cause symptoms of a disease might also be used to treat the same. It is a highly controversial field, with little to no basis in medical science, Fortune reports.

Hyland’s, a manufacturer of teething tablets and gels, announced that it would discontinue the products in the United States, in light of the FDA notice, but added in a statement from its employees that,

This warning has created confusion among parents and limited access to the medicines. Putting you in a position of having to choose who to trust in the face of contradictory information is burdensome and undermines the FDA.

There is no recall on the products, but drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens voluntarily removed homeopathic teething problems from their shelves after the FDA announcement.

In 2010, the FDA issued a safety alert on the teething tablets, after finding inconsistent amounts of belladonna, which can be toxic, in Hyland’s products. The company issued a recall at the time and has since reformulated their tablets, as well as changed their production processes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against homeopathic teething problems and recommends natural solutions to teething pains, such as massaging a child’s gums or using a wet washcloth to ease the pain.

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