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FDA Regulation of Homeopathic Remedies & Tripp’s Teething Essentials

If you thought you were having a bad day, just be thankful you’re not the CEO of Hyland’s teething tablets. If you’re not a new mom recently faced with the terror of teething, you may have no idea what these little magic white pills are. Hyland’s teething tablets are a homeopathic remedy for teething. One sunny day in October, my perfect, smiley son Tripp turned into a screeching baby pterodactyl. I turned to my usual tricks for calming him down – jumping around like a crazed animal doing the funky chicken (works every time), going for a stroll outside (he turns into an angel when taken outside the house), and when that didn’t work, turning on his favorite Christmas music station, all to no avail. Turns out, at four months old, Tripp had sprung his first tooth. I turned to Hyland’s, which I’d received several bottles of from fellow moms, and which Tripp’s pediatrician had approved. It worked like a charm. Then the google-doctor voice inside of me whispered, “Maybe you should have researched that.” Turns out, the Food and Drug Administration (aka the FDA, the agency that protects public health by regulating food drugs and cosmetics) had issued a press release the day before, warning against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels, including the popular Hyland’s teething tablets, after 10 deaths of children who used the tablets were reported. In October, Hyland’s issued a letter saying that they were no longer going to distribute Hyland’s teething medicines in the U.S.

In November, the Federal Trade Commission’s (the “FTC”) Bureau of Consumer Protection (the group that is in charge of protecting consumers against unfair or deceptive acts in commerce) also cracked down on homeopathic remedies, reminding consumers that homeopathic meds are not evaluated for safety or effectiveness by the FDA, and that they lack scientific evidence for their claims. The FTC issued a Policy Statement (read: warning) to the homeopathic community, saying that homeopathic products that claim to be effective are most likely misleading, and therefore must contain a disclaimer that (1) there is no scientific evidence that the product works and (2) the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts.

So after tearfully throwing away my teething tablets, I went back to the basics. To soothe those little chompers, Tripp enjoys chewing on a cold wet washcloth, or these teethers, which I keep in the fridge. If he needs a little distraction, he loves holding his glow seahorse, which lights up and sings songs. Sometimes he needs a little help falling asleep, and his singing owl which displays stars on the sky does the trick. And of course, Tripp loves to be held. Especially when I’m in the middle of doing something. After trying about 8 different carriers (what can I say, I attract high-maintenance men), this ergo baby adapt seems to be Tripp’s favorite. See my teething essentials below!

Update: On January 27, 2017, the FDA announced that “its laboratory analysis found inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a toxic substance, in certain homeopathic teething tablets, sometimes far exceeding the amount claimed on the label.” So far Hyland’s won’t issue a recall, but the FDA is recommending consumers stop using the homeopathic teething tablets.

 

 

  1. Nuby Teethe-eez Teether
  2. Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse
  3. Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Owl Projection Nightlight
  4. Ergo Adapt 3 Position Baby Carrier

Lady J | December 30, 2016

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