teething tablets pose health risk says FDA

In a press release by the Food and Drug Administration, dated September 30th 2016, consumers were warned that homeopathic-based teething tablets and gels could pose a significant health risk to both infants and young children. The agency instructed the general public to immediately stop usage of such products and to dispose of said products.

The products specifically outlined by the press release were those that were distributed and/or sold by CVS Pharmacy and Hyland’s.

Additionally, those products “sold in retail stores and online” were also identified as possibly culprits of health complications among infants and children.

Symptoms Identified

The original press release stating the possible issues with homeopathic teething products encouraged consumers to seek medical care of certain symptoms were exhibited after using natural-based teething tablets and/or gels. The list of symptoms is as follows:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Gastrointestinal complications, such as constipation
  • Problems urinating
  • Any degree of agitation
  • Seizures

Testing and Findings

The Food and Drug Administration conducted extensive testing on the teething tablets and gels that were homeopathic to determine if a danger existed. The details of the study were released, as well as an updated press release on January 27th of 2017 that provided conclusive details of the study. The tests resulted in the following findings:

  • The homeopathic teething tablets that were analyzed were found to include high levels of inconsistencies associated with the amount of belladonna within the tablets. Belladonna is considered to be a highly toxic substance.
  • The homeopathic teething tablets stated – clearly – that a certain amount of belladonna was contained in the tablets; however, tests confirmed that – in many cases – the actual amount of belladonna within the products far exceeded that which was specified on the labeling.
  • Belladonna – which is often referred to as “deadly nightshade” – is considered to be a health risk to infants and children and may pose unnecessary risks to this age group.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported the death of 10 infants and the development of serious illnesses among 400 other infants and children after they were treated with homeopathic teething remedies.


While belladonna is a plant that is used to make medicine, it is widely regarded as an ingredient that is considered to be unsafe. It is often used to stop breathing spasms, as a sedative, for motion sickness, and for pain. While most adults do not react unfavorably, it is possible.

The substance possesses chemicals that are able to block off the functions of the nervous system. The side effects reported with belladonna include dry mouth, the enlargement of pupils, vision problems, extremely fast heart rate, not being able to produce sweat, inability to urinate, hallucinations, cognitive problems, convulsions, seizures, coma, and death. Pediatric dentists state that over-the-counter teething products are not needed.

If your infant or toddler is teething, contact Richmond Family Pediatric Dentistry today for tips, techniques, and strategies to help your child get through this very important milestone, safely: https://richmondpediatricdentistry.com/appointment-request/

FDA Consumer Update about Hyland’s
CNN Hyland’s FDA Recall
Web MD’s overview about Belladonna, including side effects