Teething Tablets Not Recommended
On April 20, 2017, the FDA recalled Hyland's homeopathic teething tablets.
For many years now, many parents have asked me if I recommend teething tablets and if they even work.
I always told them that didn't recommend them because the ingredient concentrations are not known or clear. Hyland's website (http://www.hylands.com/products/hyland%E2%80%99s-baby-nighttime-teething-tablets) lists the ingredients and their benefits as follows:
"Calcarea Phosphorica 6X HPUS
Chamomilla 6X HPUS
Coffea Cruda 6X HPUS
Belladonna 12X HPUS (0.0000000000003% Alkaloids)
HPUS indicates the active ingredients are in the official Homeopathic Pharmacopia of the United States."
Belladonna is listed as 12X HPUS. How much is this? Is it really safe for our babies? In addition, in 2010, the FDA has also advised against these tablets due to inconsistent dosing of Belladonna alkaloids from bottle to bottle (http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/health/hylands-teething-tablets-discontinued-fda-warning/). If I didn't know what I was really giving to my baby, I wouldn't give it to my baby. Therefore, if I couldn't give it to my baby, I couldn't recommend it as a pediatrician.
In addition, I used to tell parents that based on parents' feedback, it seemed that these tablets worked about 50% of the time. Given that it wasn't consistently helpful, I didn't recommend them.
Hyland's Teething Tablets Recalled
Now, I say even more. I say absolutely not. There have been ten (10) deaths linked to Hyland's teething tablets. "The FDA concluded that the products have mislabeled the amounts of belladonna alkaloids they contain." (http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/14/health/hylands-teething-tablet-fda-recall-bn/) There have also been seizures linked to them as well. There are of course other homeopathic teething tablets. However, the same problem exists. How much of each ingredient is in each tablet? Unknown. So, the bottom line is, I don't recommend teething tablets.
What To Do For Teething Pain Relief
So the question remains, what to do to help relieve the pain? There are several recommendations:
(1) Use a cold wet wash cloth (kept in the fridge) that your baby can chew on.
(2) Have your child chew on a frozen bagel.
(3) Have your child chew on a frozen banana.
(4) Have your child chew on an ice cube.
Be careful with any of these items that your child can chew on. Always supervise your baby in order to prevent your child choking. In addition, chewing on a frozen item needs to be for a limited time to prevent physical injury due to prolonged cold. I recommend using a fresh food feeder. This is essentially a small mesh bag that your infant can chew on without choking. As always supervise that as well.
Teething is a painful time in infants' lives. However, teething tablets or bells that contain belladonna and/or benzocaine are not recommended.