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Clinicians Warned of Toxic Substance in Teething Tablets

magda_rzymanek/iStock/Getty Images Plus
magda_rzymanek/iStock/Getty Images Plus

While over-the-counter teething gels and teething tablets have been controversial due to the numbing action that can also numb the throat and hinder swallowing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that select homeopathic teething gels and tablets contain traces of belladonna. This toxic substance is formulated with chemicals that are capable of blocking functions of the body’s nervous system. In some cases, the FDA found the amount of belladonna to be far higher than that listed on the drug label.

Clinicians should advise parents and caregivers of young children who utilize such homeopathic remedies that continued use poses risks. In addition, the FDA encourages oral health professionals and parents/caregivers to report adverse events associated with these products. Reports can be submitted to fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm. The FDA also advises consumers to seek emergency care should the use of homeopathic teething tablets or gels result in seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating or agitation.

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