FDA: Toxic Belladonna In Homeopathic Teething Product
Here’s a way to stop your baby from having teething pain: Give your baby some potential poison. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–you know, that government agency that is there to protect you–has urged parents not to use certain homeopathic teething tablets because they may contain higher-than-safe levels of belladonna, a toxic substance.
“Belladonna” means “beautiful lady,” but it ain’t a lady, and there’s nothing beautiful about giving it to babies. Belladonna, which comes from the deadly nightshade plant, can be poisonous. The FDA found that Hyland’s homeopathic teething products in some cases had belladonna levels far exceeding the amount claimed on the label and asked the Standard Homeopathic Company in Los Angeles recall its product. (Of course, not every tablet may have toxic levels of belladonna, but the risk is there.) However, the company has not yet agreed to recall the product, according to the FDA. Nice.
As the National Library of Medicine (NLM) explains, belladonna’s components can inhibit the nervous system, which can lead to dry mouth, enlarged pupils, blurred vision, red dry skin, fever, fast heartbeat, inability to urinate or sweat, hallucinations, spasms, mental problems, convulsions, seizures, coma and death. But at least your baby won’t have teething pain. But wait–the FDA has never evaluated, tested or approved homeopathic teething products. So who knows how effective they really are in helping with teething pain?
This is not the first time the FDA has had to push for a recall of homeopathic teething products. In November 2016, as the FDA reports, “Raritan Pharmaceuticals (East Brunswick, New Jersey) agreed to recall three belladonna-containing homeopathic products, two of which were marketed by CVS.” The FDA already warned against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels in September 2016. As CNN reports, the FDA originally recommended against Hyland’s Teething Tablets in 2010 and since that warning fielded more than 400 reports of adverse events associated with belladonna-containing teething products. CNN also quotes Lyndsay Meyer, FDA spokeswoman, as saying, “Most describe serious adverse events, like seizures. We are also aware of reports of 10 deaths during that time period that reference homeopathic teething products.” Hmm, teething pain versus seizures and death. Decisions, decisions.
Hyland did discontinue the homeopathic teething product in October 2016. However, Mary C. Borneman, Hyland’s spokeswoman, told CNN that Hyland’s Teething Tablets “are a top-selling product and a consumer favorite, and sadly it resulted in the loss of 24
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