Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets lawsuit

Parents are filing a lawsuit after their children suffered from belladonna intoxication caused by Hyland’s Homeopathic Tablets and Gel. These apparently harmless products did, in fact, contain higher quantities of this poisonous herb than they were supposed to, leading to at least 400 reports of serious toxicity and 10 deaths in the last six years. Although some of these pills have been recalled by their manufacturers, many of them can be still found on the shelves or in online stores.

If your baby has been poisoned, died, or showed any symptom of toxicity after using Hyland’s, Orajel or CVS Homeopathic Teething Gel or Tablets, you may file a litigation and seek monetary compensation in court. Contact us immediately, and one of our specialized attorneys will help you file your claim and will assist you through the entire legal process for free.

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What are Hyland’s Teething Tablets and Gel used for?

Children teething happens when primary teeth start breaking through a newborn’s gum, causing him pain and discomfort. This phenomenon usually begins between 3 to 12 months of age and will start from the front teeth. As the tooth breaks the skin, the gum usually becomes sore and swelled, and the baby starts becoming restless and fussier than usual.

Many homeopathic products currently claim to be able to ease the pain of teething since they contain very small doses of Atropa belladonna, a poisonous plant also known as deadly nightshade. In theory, the concentration of this active ingredient should be low enough to be completely harmless, but according to the recent reports received by the U.S. regulatory agencies, this may not be entirely true.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests treating teething symptoms without medications with a couple of simple bits of advice. Parents can rub or massage their toddler’s gum with a clean finger to ease the pain. Babies could also gnaw cold stuff like a frozen washcloth or banana, or teething rings and toys that have been chilled in the freezer.

Symptoms of belladonna poisoning

  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tachycardia
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Hallucinations
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking
  • Constipation or urinary retention
  • High body temperature
  • Skin flushing,
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Death

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Why is this product dangerous?

Back in 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Hyland’s Teething Tablets could be harmful to children, and recommended all consumers to dispose of any product in their possession.  Laboratory tests found that the tablets contained inconsistent quantities of belladonna which were, in some instances, sufficiently high to cause toxic effects on children who took them. Symptoms of atropine poisoning include seizures, vomiting, agitation, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, lethargy and may even be fatal. To make everything worse, the containers did not have child resistant caps and came in squeeze-tubes that could be easily opened, leading many babies to consume higher quantities of product than recommended.

Although the company initially issued a recall, later in 2011, the tablets returned to store shelves after they were “reformulated.”  Over the course of the last few years, however, the FDA kept receiving reports of babies who manifested clear symptoms of toxicity consistent with a nightshade poisoning. The number of reports grew up to 400, 10 of which were so severe that the poor baby eventually died. In September 2016, the regulator issued a second warning alerting the public about the potentially harmful effects linked with the use of these tablets. To prevent their kids from suffering any injury, parents have been advised to immediately stop and get rid of any similar product in their household while the agency began a new investigation.

Since the teething tablets and gels have been labeled as “homeopathic,” the agency never evaluated or approved their efficacy and safety. Besides, the health benefits advertised by Hyland have never been proved by any reliable clinical trial or study, and there’s no scientific evidence that they may relieve teething symptoms in toddlers. Dr. Janet Woodcock, head of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research even recommended against using these pills, pointing out how seeking advice from a healthcare professional is a much better alternative.

What is homeopathy?

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine system based on the assumption that “similia similibus curentur” (like cures like), meaning that minuscule quantities of a substance that may harm healthy people would instead cure ailments in unhealthy ones. Potentially toxic substances are thus used at extremely diluted concentrations to treat many diseases and symptoms. However, very little evidence (if none at all) proved that homeopathic medicine is indeed more effective than a placebo. Since this practice is inconsistent with fundamental concepts of physics, medicine and chemistry, no rigorous clinical researches are carried on these products, and sometimes the actual amounts of poisonous ingredients found can be substantial enough to cause dangerous side effects and hazardous drug interactions.

What is belladonna (nightshade)?

Atropa belladonna is a potentially deadly herbaceous plant from the Nightshade family that has been used for centuries as a cosmetic and poison. Its name comes from the deity Atropos, one of the Three Fates from Greek mythology that ended the life of humans by cutting their thread. The term “belladonna” comes from the Italian “beautiful woman” since it was used in eye-drops during the Renaissance by ladies who dilated their pupils to appear more seductive. The appropriately named deadly nightshade is one of the most poisonous plants in the world, due to its toxic concentration of atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine. These three alkaloids possess a significant anticholinergic activity that might cause several symptoms of intoxication that may even have lethal effects, especially in infants. The effects of belladonna’s poisoning can be reverted with the administration of an antidote, usually physostigmine or pilocarpine. If your baby experiences any one of the symptoms included in this list after taking Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablet or Gel, you should seek immediate medical attention or call to 911.

Why you should file a Homeopathic Teething Tablet lawsuit

It’s even futile to explain how terrifying could be to see your own children harmed or even killed by a product that should be absolutely safe and thoroughly tested before it’s released to the market. People who had to endure the unspeakable horror of watching their son injured decided to sue the company and seek a reimbursement, at least. Although Hyland’s keep claiming that the Homeopathic Tablets and Gel are completely safe, a number of plaintiffs filed a lawsuit accusing the manufacturers of negligence in designing and accurately testing the products. Their lawyers also argue that the companies failed to warn the public of the potential risks adequately and that the federal authorities never approved this product for medical use in patients of pediatric age. The company has also been already targeted by another large class action filed by several individuals who argue that the effectiveness of many homeopathic products has been misrepresented and largely overstated.

Article by Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D.

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