Hyland’s is a very well-known homeopathic company and therefore an obvious place to turn for your little ones homeopathic needs. Their teething tablets are best-sellers and very popular. But are Hyland’s Teething Tablets safe to use?
A Little Background
As a new mom with my first I followed any and every suggestion once the usual stuff failed, and this held true during the teething stage as well. At the time I was in a breastfeeding support group and all the other moms swore by Hyland’s Teething Tablets. So I started giving them to my son like candy! Why not, they are homeopathic so what’s the harm? He was getting 1 or 2 a day and 1 or 2 at night. They worked wonders. We could definitely notice a difference nights he took them versus nights that he didn’t. They seemed to calm him as well as reduce some of the swelling in his gums. He was taking them from about 5 months until just over a year. That is when the news articles started to break about the risks involved with this medication. According to the news Hyland Teething Tablets were untested, causing seizures and being recalled left and right. So is it all true? That was 2 years ago, have they fixed the problem? Let’s dive into some of these issues!
The Reported Issues
Naturally I freaked out, stopped giving my son the teething tablets and did as much research as I possibly could. It was in 2010 that the first alert came from the FDA warning against homeopathic medicines, in general, and their safety. This is mainly because of the way they are classified and therefore do not get regulated as strictly as other over-the-counter medicines. Basically, they are not monitored well so buyer beware, which is not the best thing to be pumping into your kids. The specific issues with Hyland’s Teething tablets that were being reported in the media were:
- Could cause seizures with prolonged use
- Improper labeling on ingredients
- Poor testing practices
- Inconsistent amounts of the active ingredient, Belladonna
In 2016, the FDA released information that, after many reports and some initial testing, there was a link between seizures, and other medical issues including death, and teething tablets, specifically the belladonna in them. In the beginning of 2017 they wrote a formal request to recall all Hyland’s Teething Tablets due to the results of the FDA testing (read the full letter here).
The results were that Hyland’s Teething Tablets had a wide variance of belladonna in them. Meaning one tablet could have the amount of active ingredients stated on the label, the next tablet could have very little and the next could have way too much. Although all the ingredients are natural, too much of a good thing isn’t always good and Hyland’s had no evidence of what happened if there was too much of belladonna. In other words, they had done no testing of safety with higher concentrations of the prime ingredient.
So from all the testing and giant recall what really happened was a HUGE public relations issue for Hyland’s. Although they were able to prove that their product consistently fell within the safe margin for amount of belladonna, their list of ingredients was still inaccurate which is mislabeling, somewhat shady, and ultimately caused the recall.
Hyland’s stopped producing and recalled all of the Teething Tablets and Nighttime Teething Tablets. They pumped their website full of information about the safety of their product and belladonna in general. They have since completely reformulated the Hyland’s Teething Tablets to not contain any belladonna.
Ok, big question: Are Hyland’s Teething Tablets safe? now, yes. I subscribe to the “better safe than sorry” mantra of life, therefore at the time I was giving them to my son I would not (and did not) trust them. I expect healthcare companies to be able to manufacture safe and consistent product that is properly labeled. If a company cannot do that, I have a hard time trusting that their in house testing was accurate. I could not trust Hyland’s Teething Tablets to contain only appropriate amounts of belladonna, which is the ingredient that is linked to seizures.
Now the formula has changed and Hyland’s is being far more transparent with their testing and safety procedures. Personally, I now like Camilia Teething Liquid soooooooo much (and you can read all about why here) so I have not had the need to try the new version of the teething tablets to see how they compare effective-wise. However, I would be able to say that they are now safe.You can find them here for about $8 for 125 tablets.
Do you use Hyland’s Teething Tablets? Does your little one react well? What other homeopathic solutions have you found? Share below in the comments!