Infants often cry non-stop and have sleepless nights during teething. This pushes parents to seek over-the-counter remedies or prescription to ease their babies' discomfort. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, advises parents from homeopathic teething tablets and gels.
A new statement from the FDA released on Sept. 30 warns parents that homeopathic teething tablets and gels, which can be bought in retail stores and online, have risks to babies and children. Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said that teething can be managed without the help of prescription or over-the-counter remedies.
"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," Woodcock added in the statement. Some babies are born with their first teeth, but they usually start teething at around six months.
Others begin teething before they reach four months of age, according to the NHS. Some get theirs after a year.
Some of the signs that a baby is teething are when he/she is more restless than usual, is gnawing or chewing on things often, is dribbling more than usual, and if the infant's one cheek is flushed. Another symptom is when the baby's gum is sore and red at the spot where the tooth is emerging. Sometimes, baby teeth appear without any pain or discomfort.
At the moment, the FDA is investigating reports about homeopathic teething tablets and gels causing seizures in infants and children. The agency is currently testing sample products and promises to release more information to the public once everything becomes clear.
The FDA also urges consumers to visit physicians immediately if their child is having seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after being given homeopathic teething tablets or gels. Consumers should stop using the products and dispose them instantly after encountering these health issues.
According to the FDA, homeopathic teething tablets and gels aren't evaluated or approved for safety or efficacy. The government agency is also unaware of the supposed health benefits of the teething products.
Instead of homeopathic teething tablets and gels, an expert advised parents to use low doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen on teething babies and toddlers, CBS News reported. According to Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are most effective in relieving teething pain during bedtime or nap time.
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