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Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets: Are They Safe?

10/7/2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued an advisory against homeopathic chewing products, such as Hyland’s tablets and gels. However, a response published by Hyland’s states active ingredients in its products are diluted “to the point that the risk of toxicity is extremely low.”

“First and foremost, the quality of homeopathic medicines manufacturing is regulated by [FDA], as required in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act,” wrote Iris R. Bell, MD, PhD, director of scientific affairs, Hyland’s. “The production of Hyland's homeopathic medicines occurs within a validated process, as with any FDA-regulated drug, to ensure an accepted level of consistency in product output.”

Bell further explained that ingredients in Hyland’s Teething Tablets are prepared in accordance with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoia of the United States (HPUS), which has been recognized by FDA since 1938 as an official “formula book.” 

Ingredients used in Hyland’s tablets include Belladona, Calcarea Phosphorica, Chamomilla and Coffea Cruda. Belladonna, the ingredient that eases children’s inflammation and discomfort during the teething process, comprises 0.0000000000003 percent of the 65-mg tablet, according to Bell. Compared to conventional medicines that contain Belladonna alkaloids, the amount used in Hyland’s tablets is thousands of times lower. Plus, the side effects sometimes caused by conventional medicines containing Belladonna alkaloids are not associated with homeopathic medicines because of the minute dosage.

“To further clarify the homeopathic dosages of Belladonna in Baby Teething Tablets, a 10-pound child would have to accidentally ingest, all at the same time, more than a dozen bottles of 135 Baby Teething Tablets before experiencing even dry mouth from the product,” Bell wrote in the response. “Additionally, the body clears Belladonna alkaloids from any single dose in a matter of hours.”

Dr. Stephen Messer, MSEd, ND, NHANP, professor and chair of Homeopathic Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM), began practicing homeopathy in 1979 and said he has never seen a teething child experience adverse effects from these Hyland’s tablets.

“The good thing about homeopathic medicine is that because it’s so dilute, it tends to not cause side effects unless the patient is very, very sensitive,” Dr. Messer said. “In fact, one of the reasons I like to use homeopathic medicine is because it has a low side effect profile compared to conventional drugs.”

Though sensitive patients can sometimes experience negative reactions to homeopathy, Dr. Messer said the situation is extremely rare. He added that he cannot recall hearing about any other homeopathic doctors whose patients have complained of adverse reactions in a teething child.

Hyland's response stated that its teething tablets have been safely used by millions of children since being introduced to the United States’ market in 1945. The company clarified that even if a child ate an entire bottle of homeopathic medicine, there’s a very small chance of any medically serious anticholinergic toxicity effect occurring.

If parents do have any concerns regarding Hyland’s teething tablets, they can call 1.800.624.9659 and ask for an on-staff pharmacist. They may also learn more by watching the video “Is Homeopathic Medicine Safe?

For parents who have experienced the benefits of homeopathy or Hyland’s Teething Tablets, please share your story on Hyland’s Facebook page!