Company discontinues infant teething medicines after FDA warnings, reports of deaths

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A homeopathic product company says it will discontinue the sale of its teething medicines, following federal warnings about their safety and unconfirmed reports linking the medicines to infant deaths.

The company, Hyland’s, has manufactured teething tablets and gels — designed to relieve pain and irritability when an infant’s teeth are coming in — for more than 90 years.

Hyland’s has “chosen to discontinue the distribution of our Hyland’s teething medicines in the United States,” the company wrote in an open letter published on its website. “This decision was made in light of the recent warning issued by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels. This warning has created confusion among parents and limited access to the medicines.”

The FDA warned last month against the use of such products, which it now says have been associated with more than 400 reports of adverse events — such as seizure, fever, vomiting, and shortness of breath — over the last six years.

The agency says it is also aware of reports of 10 deaths that referenced the teething medicines, though it cautioned that a conclusive link between the deaths and the medications had not been proven. The matter is still under official review.

After the FDA warning on Sept. 30, CVS Pharmacy removed the product from its stores, a fact that Hyland’s alluded to in its letter.

“Putting you in a position of having to choose who to trust in the face of contradictory information is burdensome and undermines the FDA,” the company wrote.

Hyland’s did, however, say that it was “confident” any teething medicines remaining on store shelves are safe to use.