Concerned about risks from a toxic substance found in several brands of children's medicine, the Food and Drug Administration is urging the public to stop using them.
In a news release issued at the end of January, the FDA said that its lab has found "inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a toxic substance, in certain homeopathic teething tablets, sometimes far exceeding the amount claimed on the label."
The FDA was warning consumers about teething tablets made by Los Angeles-based Standard Homeopathic Company.
The company disputes the FDA's claims, saying their labs determined the product was safe.
"We discontinued the selling of our teething tablets, even though we were confident our products were safe," said Hyland's spokeswoman Mary Borneman. "We have a robust testing program that measures alkaloid and belladonna levels. Our data indicated that belladonna amounts for our teething products were not higher than our incredibly safe threshold."
Belladonna is a plant commonly used as a sedative to stop asthma spasms and whooping cough. It contains chemicals that can be toxic in large quantities.
"The body's response to belladonna in children under two years of age is unpredictable and puts them at unnecessary risk," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in the news release. "We recommend that parents and caregivers not give these homeopathic teething tablets to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives."