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FDA plans to crack down on homeopathic remedies—including popular teething gels + tablets

The FDA is taking their 2016 warning against homeopathic teething gels and tablets a step further. 

FDA plans to crack down on homeopathic remedies—including popular teething gels + tablets

For the past three decades, products labelled as homeopathic have not been held to the same testing and approval standards by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as other medication. That will soon change with the FDA cracking down on homeopathic products with “potentially significant safety concerns.”


According to a proposal from the FDA released on Monday, the agency aims to launch new, risk-based enforcements and regulatory actions on homeopathic products. At the top of the list are homeopathic teething gels and tablets, which they recommended all users stop using in 2016.

“Homeopathic products have not been approved by the FDA for any use and may not meet modern standards for safety, effectiveness and quality,” says Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “The draft guidance is an important step forward in the agency's work to protect patients from unproven and potentially dangerous products.”

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Although FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D says they “respect that some individuals want to use alternative treatments,” he adds it’s the Administration’s responsibility to “protect the public from products that may not deliver any benefit and have the potential to cause harm.”

Under the proposal, homeopathic products that do not have any clear risks will remain available to consumers. But others with potentially harmful ingredients, reported safety concerns or targeted uses with “vulnerable populations” will face stricter regulations.

That includes homeopathic teething products that use belladonna as an active ingredient, such as Hyland’s Teething Tablets. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, belladonna is a plant extract classified as “likely unsafe” when taken orally.

In its warning specifically against homeopathic teething gels and tablets last year, the FDA noted reports of seizures and death among infants and children who used those products. Woodcock recommended parents talk with health care professionals about how to manage their child’s teething pain without prescription or over-the-counter products.

The agency noted about the products:

“Homeopathic teething tablets and gels have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safety or efficacy. The agency is also not aware of any proven health benefit of the products, which are labeled to relieve teething symptoms in children.”

The new proposal from the FDA is now subject to a 90-day comment period, during which time the public is encouraged to weigh in on the potential policy. If it goes forward, expect to see fewer homeopathic products on the shelves of the pharmacy.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

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Comforts Electrolyte Drink

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Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

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When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

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Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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