For years, parents across the nation have depended on teething medications and products to relieve teething problems in their babies. Different companies have produced various products to help children alleviate the pain resulting from teeth piercing the gums, including chew toys and homeopathic teething medicines, like teething tablets. However, not all of these products are safe. Before using any of them, you should first know the dangers they pose to your baby.  For instance, Hyland’s Inc. and its parent company Standard Homeopathic Company have been on the spot for manufacturing dangerous homeopathic teething products.

At Consumer Alert Now, we care about consumers’ health and safety. We are dedicated to informing you of the dangerous drugs in the market, so you know what to purchase and what not to buy. And if you are already a victim of dangerous drugs, we will help you find the legal help you need to receive just compensation. We serve clients nationwide and are operational 24/7. Therefore, do not hesitate to call us for expert services.

Overview of Baby Teething Products

When your baby starts teething, you will undoubtedly look for substances that can help soothe the child and relieve pain, including teething tablets, sprays, gels, ointments, lozenges, and solutions. Reportedly, these products contain:

  • Coffee seeds for calming
  • Chamomile to alleviate irritation
  • Calcium phosphate for teeth growth
  • Belladonna or Benzocaine to alleviate pain and inflammation

Teething products have existed since the early 1900s. They’re supposed to provide temporary relief for the teething baby—however, some of them have been tied to dangerous side effects. Common teething medication, Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets, manufactured by Hyland’s Inc., has been linked to belladonna toxicity. Consequently, they were recalled from the market in Oct. 2017. Unfortunately, By the time they were recalled, these tablets had been linked to the demise of no less than ten infants and rendered over 400 others severely sick in the last six years. Several other babies had also had severe adverse side effects, which could be linked to belladonna.

What’s Belladonna?

Belladonna is also commonly referred to as ‘deadly nightshade.’ It’s a plant that has known poisonous effects. This plant grows in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Its roots and leaves are components in various medicines, including sedatives, cold medications, and drugs used to treat bronchial spasms. Until 2017, this plant was the primary component in Hyland’s Homeopathic Baby teething tablets.

Homeopathic baby teething products have been in the market since the 1900s. Using toxic components to treat ailments or illnesses is a holistic or natural medicinal approach to healing known as homeopathy. Homeopathy refers to a complementary medical system centered on the belief that the body can heal itself. Those using it believe small amounts of natural, poisonous substances from minerals and plants that would usually cause signs & symptoms of illness in healthy individuals can cure signs and symptoms in ill individuals. 

Apart from Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets, the homeopathic teething medications we have mentioned below also contain belladonna. In case you have administered any of them to your kid, and they sustained severe health complications, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible for consultations:

  • Hyland’s Baby Natural Relief Nighttime Teething Tablets
  • Hyland’s Baby Natural Relief Teething Tablets
  • CVS Homeopathic Infants Teething Tablets
  • Hyland’s Baby Teething Gel

Belladonna Leads to Baby Teething Tablet Toxicity & Overdose

Hyland’s-manufactured Homeopathic Baby Teething Tablets were to consist of vanishingly tiny belladonna amounts. But after a study by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), the tablets were found to consist of varying belladonna amounts. And as we have mentioned, belladonna is a toxic substance. Therefore, due to the inconsistency of its quantity in every dose, most parents unknowingly administered its overdose to their children while assuming they were giving the recommended dose.

The small poison amounts may pose minor risks to grown-ups. However, this isn’t the case when it comes to minors. Even low belladonna levels in children may cause seizures, difficulty breathing, and muscle weakness. Belladonna contains various toxic ingredients like atropine. Using terms like ‘natural,’ Hyland’s made parents comfortable, trusting that they weren’t giving their kids anything dangerous.

Atropine usually functions by obstructing a  common neurotransmitter found in the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the brain part that controls involuntary functions like digesting, heartbeat, breathing, and urinating. Usually, when you introduce atropine into your body in high quantities, the brain will lose control of the functions we have mentioned, which becomes fatal. In the homeopathy system, atropine treats inflammation and redness.

Symptoms and Signs of Belladonna Overdose or Toxicity

In Sept. 2016, the Food & Drug Administration issued a public warning requesting parents to stop using homeopathic products immediately since severe damage could arise, including loss of breath and seizures. Parents were asked to dispose of any products they had purchased for their babies or themselves.

On Jan. 27th, 2017, the FDA issued a press release confirming higher than recommended belladonna levels in homeopathic teething products. This agency’s laboratory analysis found varying belladonna amounts in particular homeopathic baby teething tablets, at times far much more than the amount indicated on the label. The agency found that belladonna levels varied both among the bottles and within the tablets in the same bottles.

If you administered homeopathic teething tablets to your child, you might be wondering about the signs & symptoms to watch out for concerning these troubling revelations. The FDA compiled a list of symptoms associated with baby teething tablet poisoning. They include:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty urinating/decreased urination
  • Difficulty breathing/fast heartbeat
  • Flushed skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy/Sleepiness
  • Agitation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry skin and dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Signs of face or lips turning blue
  • Loss of consciousness

In one of the cases, one parent reported that they had used Hyland’s baby teething tablets as required and per given instructions since their son began teething. But then one day, the son was completely unconscious and rushed to the Emergency Room. He remained unconscious, not responding or moving for four continuous hours. The doctor reported that he had had a seizure.

In another report compiled on May 24th, 2013, a parent stated that their son started experiencing seizures after using Hyland’s teething tablets for the past one month. There wasn’t any fever when the boy had those seizures, but it caused him to lose oxygen to the brain. They took him to the hospital, where he was admitted for three weeks. He underwent gastric tube surgery secondary to loss of oxygen to the brain. The seizures were in the form of drooling and shaking for one minute.

Additionally, the report states that after administering Hyland's baby teething tablets on a five months baby for the first time, the baby died in their sleep. When the parents found him, he had a temperature of 102 degrees Celsius. The cause of the demise was reported to be an acute cardiopulmonary arrest.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your kid after giving him/her teething medication, you may be eligible to sue the tablet manufacturer. You can accuse the company of lying about the drugs’ safety and of the harm the tablets caused your child. Your lawyer may help you join a mass tort against Hyland’s, which, upon winning, you’ll recover medical expenses and lost wages that resulted from belladonna toxicity poisoning. 

The FDA Warnings on Belladonna Toxicity

As we mentioned before, homeopathic teething products have existed since the early 1900s. However, Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets were not sold in the United States until later in 1945. For over 70 years, millions of U.S parents used the drug on their babies to relieve teething pain and discomfort.

In 2010, The Food and Drug Administration cautioned parents to dispose of any Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets they had purchased. This warning was centered on the agency’s investigation, which found varying belladonna amounts in the products. In that year, the agency received several reports regarding severe adverse side effects in minors using the tablets. The signs and symptoms the kids experienced were the same as those of belladonna toxicity. In the end, the FDA directed parents to cease using the product immediately.

Following these revelations, Hyland’s Company announced a voluntary withdrawal of their homeopathic products from the market in 2010 due to varying belladonna levels and packaging problems. In a press release on the company’s website, President & Chief Pharmacist Mark Phillips stated that they had instigated the voluntary withdrawal to ensure customers understand that their health and safety are the company’s top priority. However, he remained adamant that their products were safe for consumption. But due to the FDA’s investigations, the company facelifted its production, testing, and packaging protocols.

In Sept. 2016, the FDA moved to inspect Hyland’s Company.  After the inspection, it established that there were varying belladonna alkaloids amounts detected in their products. The agency issued another warning to the public, citing that the varying amounts could pose a severe health hazard. The FDA again conducted a follow-up inspection in Jan. 2017 and announced that its laboratory analysis still found the same results—varying belladonna amounts in homeopathic baby teething tablets and other products.

But regardless of these findings, Hyland’s refused to recall their teething products for a second time. In a phone call with the Food & Drug Administration in Jan. 2017, Jay Borneman, the company’s CEO, made it clear that he wouldn’t instigate a recall since he believed the consumers are sufficiently protected. The company also alleged that it had worked closely with the FDA throughout the process of revamping its production, testing, and packaging after the first recall.

However, the FDA clarified that it had neither evaluated nor approved its homeopathic products for effectiveness and safety. The agency wasn’t aware of any established health benefits of the products that the company claimed to relieve teething pain and discomfort in babies. Additionally, the FDA had repeatedly found varying belladonna amounts in Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets, cautioning parents of the possible dangers of these inconsistencies.

The Food & Drug Administration recommended that caregivers and parents do not administer these homeopathic teething tablets to babies and seek advice from their health care providers for other safer alternatives. It noted that even though homeopathic products contain natural ingredients, these ingredients aren’t regulated like over-the-counter and prescription medications are. Additionally, natural substances aren’t necessarily mild and gentle. Sometimes, they can be poisonous & lethal.

In Apr. 2017, the Food & Drug Administration sent Hyland’s a letter requesting the company to recall all their Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets and Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets. Shortly after sending the letter, the agency announced a class 1 recall of Hyland’s homeopathic baby teething tablets. And after consulting with the Food & Drug Administration in 2017, the company finally agreed to recall these tablets and other homeopathic products for a second time.

Mass Torts Against Hyland’s

When numerous people suffer physical injuries by only one massive screw-up, they can file a mass tort. In mass torts, each complainant keeps his or her case. However, they’re consolidated together for the investigation or discovery phase of the suit. If the mass tort succeeds, the victims receive compensation for the harms they sustained. They will be compensated for damages like medical expenses and pain & suffering they went through.

Every complainant in a mass tort has his or her attorney. Just because you have joined a mass tort doesn’t mean you will receive the damages you may be eligible to acquire. If you don’t already have an attorney for your case, you have to move fast and retain one; otherwise, you could lose the ability to recover that compensation.

Several Mass torts have been brought against the manufacturers & sellers of Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets. Parents whose kids died or were hurt seek to find how the manufacturer can compensate them.

In 2016, a mass tort was brought against Hyland’s Inc. The tort alleged that these companies violated consumer protection statutes and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act by negligently marketing their homeopathic products as capable of curing baby illnesses. It also alleged that Hyland’s Inc. advertised the medications as natural despite the fact.

The California-based Hyland’s Inc., together with its parent corporation, develops & manufactures homeopathic medications in the country. These companies sell products for illnesses such as pain relief, sleep/stress, cold/cough, digestion, skin, first aid, women’s health, and baby products like topicals and teething tablets. These products are sold in pharmacies, chain drug stores, natural product stores, supercenters, and grocery stores.

California resident Abigail Gagliardi bought Hyland products in retail stores, and New York resident Marie Kaatz bought them online. They even paid a premium for the different homeopathic products, which the company had advertised as being effective and safe at providing fast and natural relief. The products included:

  • Hyland’s Baby Cough Syrup
  • Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Tiny Cold Syrup
  • Hyland’s Baby Teething Gel
  • Hyland’s Baby Infant Earache Drops
  • Hyland’s Baby Gas Drops

But on Jan. 12th, 2016, these women brought a complaint in New York on their behalf and on behalf of other people in a similar situation. They alleged that the company’s aggressive advertising of ‘Natural Relief’ on their product packaging shaped customers’ beliefs that the products are an effective and safer natural alternative to conventional, mainstream medication. Generally, all homeopathic products, including the Hyland’s ones, are reported to have no molecules of the supposedly active components or have diluted quantities that would’ve no benefit. As per the complaint, these products are generally ineffective, as established by expert testing that determined that the diluted medications can’t work.

Additionally, the complaint alleged that the products contain synthetic components like potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and vegetable glycerin. These ingredients are linked to the occurrence of severe medical issues, and that any reasonable consumer would understand that if Hyland’s was marketing the products as natural, then it means they don’t contain synthetic components.

The complaint sought damages for false, deceptive, and misleading statements under consumer protection and state business laws. It also sought compensation for breach of warranty relief as per the federal Magnuson-Moss Act, claiming Hyland’s was unfairly enriched by payment for products that weren’t as represented. The mass tort requested an injunction against Hyland’s and punitive & treble damages, attorney’s fees, and other expenses.

Alternatives to Teething Tablets and Teething Gels

As a parent, it is undoubtedly heartbreaking to see your baby in pain. Regardless, you should, at all times, be aware of the potential risks the medication you administer to your baby poses. There are  various alternatives for relieving teething pain. They include:

  • Eating hard foods — If your baby eats solid foods, give them something hard but edible to gnaw on. A peeled or chilled carrot or cucumber can provide the baby with much-needed pain relief. But you should closely monitor the child. Any piece that breaks off may choke them, leading to a health hazard.
  • Rubbing your child’s Gums — Ensure your hands are clean first. Using a damp gauze pad and a clean finger to rub the child’s gums is the most appropriate teething pain relief. The resulting pressure erases or eases the baby’s discomfort.
  • Sticking it in the fridge — A cold spoon, washcloth, or teething ring soothes the baby’s gums. Don’t ever give your child a frozen or iced teething ring because these kinds of rings are hard, which means they can bruise the baby’s gums. Also, frozen temperatures may frostbite the baby’s gums or lips.
  • Over-the-counter (OVC) medication —If your child is particularly cranky due to teething, children’s Motrin or children’s Tylenol may help. Consult with your pediatrician about what kind of OVC is appropriate for your baby’s pain.
  • Dabbing the drool —Drooling in excess is part of the teething phase. Having items in the child’s mouth, like fingers or teething rings, produces saliva. In turn, excessive saliva may cause skin irritation. Have a clean piece of cloth nearby to dry the baby’s chin.

Whereas teething can be treated at the comfort of your home, if your child appears to be overly uncomfortable, or comes down with a fever, see your doctor. Additionally, you always need to avoid teething drugs with belladonna and OTC medications containing benzocaine.

Statute of Limitations in Hyland’s Mass Torts

The timeframe to bring a lawsuit for belladonna poisoning is intricate. Due to this fact, you want to reach out to a defective product injury attorney for consultations. Mostly, the deadline for belladonna –related injuries is only two years. For instance, if your baby passed away due to belladonna poisoning, you have only two years, counted from the day of the demise, to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Other instances to bring a claim are:

  • Once a minor turns eighteen years, they will have only two years to file a suit for the damage resulting from belladonna poisoning.
  • A parent has two years from the FDA’s Jan 2017 warning to bring a lawsuit if their baby died or suffered injury from belladonna.

Two years isn’t a long time. Thus, if you notice any side effects or injury in your child and believe they are a result of administering homeopathic baby teething gel or tablets, you should reach out to Hyland’s suit lawyer as soon as possible.

Talk to a Hyland’s Mass Tort Attorney Near Me

Belladonna poisoning after using Hyland’s Homeopathic Baby Teething Tablets and other products is the company’s negligence. When a company refuses to consider parents’ concerns about the risks of the products they produce, they have to take responsibility for the resulting harm. Most consumers understand that natural medications mean that they are safe for consumption. But Hyland’s Homeopathic Baby Teething Tablets have the toxic belladonna plant, yet the company continued deceiving them by marketing them as safe and effective.

If your child has suffered severe side effects after administration of these tablets or any other Hyland’s homeopathic products, please reach out to Consumer Alert Now immediately. We will help you find legal help so you can receive fair compensation. Call us today at 800-511-0747 for a cost-free case review to determine the best cause of action. We serve clients nationwide who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, medical devices, and other products and services.