Teething tabs and safety

by Dr. Alan Kadish NMD

I’m personally confused. The whole deal regarding the concern of the FDA appears to be the contents of homeopathic belladonna. Why the confusion, because it’s infinitesimal in quantity and not grossly present as a potential poison, as suggested by the FDA.

Let’s talk about the amount of the belladonna in the products. Homeopathy uses a  method of defining the amount  using a numbering and lettering system. The numbers are typically indicated with a C or D which means that the product is diluted at the level of one-hundredth each dilution or if it’s represented in an X it’s one tenth of the original.

An easy way to imagine the system, add 10 times the amount of water to the original and you get 1x. Keep adding 10 times more and your get 2x, etc.

In the Hyland’s teething tabs the amount of Belladonna is expressed as 12X, which = (0.0000000000003% alkaloids, calculated). “As calculated, this means that each complete teething tablet contains only approximately 0.0000000000002 mg of Belladonna alkaloids.

Yes, that’s a lot of zero’s and reflects the infinitesimal amount present. To take an overdose even for an infant would require a huge amount many times in excess of the indicated dosing. The calculation is that it would take a 10 lbs baby over 12 bottles, at once, to actually get enough to cause a reaction.

Hopefully we can agree that if your overdosing your youngster with levels of bottles of any medications something is amiss !

Naysayers of this system of treatment point out that one of the key issues with homeopathy is that it might delay “appropriate” medical treatment.

I firmly believe that you should see your health care provider and have a discussion regarding the appropriate intervention/s that are mutually acceptable to you. In this case, we are talking about teething tabs, not a life threatening or substantial disorder, but a transient issue, with obvious pain and distress.

No prescription product is currently available, except for the use of non-steroidal pain medications which have a whole lot of potential side effects and may not be appropriate for many children.

The FDA’s (9/16) take on teething…..“Teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.

The use of teething products is not even mentioned although many contain phthalates and other very well known endocrine disrupting chemicals. It’s always curious how specifics get lost in the conversation.

”The science of homeopathy is still very much in question. One of the phenomena’s noted is that curiously the strength of a homeopathic preparation is said to be higher, with less actual substance present. Any of the homeopathic products produced at greater than 30C is said to not contain any actual compound as it exceeds Avogadro’s number,10 23 which means that less than one atom of the product is present.

The use of homeopathic medications has risen and fallen over time dependent on patients and the media’s perceptions. As an inexpensive and easily available over the counter, it’s a winner. As an alternative to other forms of prescriptions or other over the counter medications, it’s a direct competitor.

Curiously even as of today the wiki pages make a big deal about the so-called lack of published documentation. This is completely incorrect as there are well funded and long term placebo controlled double blinded studies consistently available and in higher numbers during the last 10-20 years.

I would suggest anyone doubting the findings, not the underlying science, read some of the journal articles and make their own decisions: A listing of  journals can be found here and specifically for a peer-reviewed publication see Homeopathy. Additionally, you will find the current crop of homeopathic manufacturers all have extensive listings of articles on their sites.

The take home:

I have personally seen hundreds of uses of the teething tablets, used at the indicated dose help with the symptoms of teething, without any adverse events.

The use of teething products make of medical grade silicon and non-toxic materials is a great idea.  

We have tried a number of teething products that work well.

My philosophy is to us a non-medication approach first and then the safest products available next if necessary.

Want lots more practical solutions for yourself and family ?

Call us and let’s maximize your health:  541.773.3191

PS the article below describes the 2010 recall of teething tablets….due to lack of a child-proof closure, not the product. This oversight is not mentioned, hmmmm.

FDA Warns Against Homeopathic Teething Tablets


teething tablets

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert telling shoppers that “homeopathic teething tablets and gels may pose a risk to infants and children.” The agency advised parents and guardians of children to trash any such products that had in their position, including items distributed by CVS, Hyland’s and possibly others.

According to FDA, children using these products can experience side effects like “seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation.” The agency also said a full investigation into these products is underway.

In response, CVS has issued a voluntary recall of homeopathic infant teething products from Hyland’s, Orajel and its own store brand.

Meanwhile, Hyland’s issued a statement saying, “…we are confident that Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets remain safe.” The firm noted that its facilities are GMP compliant.

The company has caved to the FDA and is no longer manufacturing this item.

This isn’t the first time FDA voiced its concerns about homeopathic teething tablets and gels. The agency previously issued a safety alert in 2010 with a similar warning. At that time, FDA was concerned that products containing belladonna could pose a risk to children if it was consumed in large doses.

Hyland’s recent response, however, reminded consumers that belladonna is only present in trace amounts in its teething tablets. “A child would have to eat multiple bottles at once to experience the first side effect of belladonna, which is typically dry mouth,” the firm stated.

Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 10/3/16