Medical expert agrees with FDA warnings against teething gels, tablets

Updated: Oct. 13, 2016 at 10:19 PM CDT
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(WAFF) - The FDA reports that certain brands of homeopathic teething gels and tablets have been linked to 10 deaths, and 400 sicknesses in toddlers. WAFF 48 News medical expert Dr. Tim Howard said there are plenty of other remedies for teething children instead of gels and tablets.

READ MORE: Teething tablets, gels associated with 10 deaths, FDA reports

"I had four children, and they were notorious for chewing on my finger. They loved that," Howard said.

He said it doesn't take much to cause babies to have significant side effects with prescribed medications.

Howard said the problem with homeopathic medicines, including the ones the FDA warned parents against on Tuesday, is that they're not an exact science. And neither is the dosage.

"Typically, the medications are anecdotal. In other words, this worked for me. Why don't you try it kind of thing," said Howard.

Howard said the FDA found in 2010 that there was an inconsistency in the tablets and the d rops as far as the amount of concentration of the active medication was in the d rop or the tablet.

"So that makes a big difference because you may get one d rop that does not have much on it, but another d rop that has a lot in it," he said.

Howard said the American Academy of Family Physicians, of which he is a member, has very strict guidelines for over-the-counter medicines they tell parents to give their young children. He said they don't endorse any medication for a child less than 2 years old except for Tylenol.

"So when you start going off beyond that, you're going beyond what any medical body would recommend," he said.

Howard recommends teething rings that have been cooled. He also advises washcloths with a little water cooled in the refrigerator.

As for the painful part of teething, Howard said it's "part of life" and will pass.

In response to the FDA warning, Hyland's, the manufacturer of the products, has discontinued distribution. CVS has taken the products off their shelves.

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