Product recall: Homeopathic tablets might cause seizures in children, warns FDA
Are we really sure that homeopathic remedies are safe for our family?
Many parents nowadays are starting to get into alternative forms of care for their children, such as homeopathy. However, are these so-called homeopathic "cures" really safe for our children?
The FDA recently released a statement about Hyland's Teething Tablets, warning the public that they have received reports of some children and infants who have been given the teething tablets have had unexpected side effects which include seizures, difficulty breathing, and muscle weakness.
According to the statement, the teething tablets contained varying amounts of belladonna, a plant that contains a very toxic substance which can prove lethal even at small amounts. Belladonna is a commonly used plant in homeopathic remedies, but supposedly the amounts used are too small to prove any risk.
Since the announcement, the homeopathic teething products have been pulled out in drugstores and retail outlets. Standard Homeopathic Company, who produce Hyland's Teething Tablets, are also recalling their products voluntarily. According to their website, they since have made changes and reissued their product.
Homeopathic remedies are usually derived from natural substances such as plants, minerals, or even animals. While they might have some similarities with natural medicine, homeopathy and homeopathic remedies differ in that they usually dilute the active ingredient in either water or sugar.
According to practitioners, diluting the preparations make the remedy much more effective, but scientific studies say that the dilutions are so large that in some cases there is less than a single molecule left in the preparation.
Most government health agencies and doctors also agree that homeopathic remedies are only effective as placebos, and that using homeopathic remedies instead of actual medicine can do more harm than good.
Nowadays, natural forms of medicine such as homeopathy are slowly being adopted by more and more parents. This is mainly due to the notion that 'going natural' is the best way to keep their kids healthy, which isn't always true.
In some severe illnesses, such as cancer, there is very little evidence to support the effectivity of natural methods of treatment. That's why if you are interested in choosing an alternative form of treatment, it's always best to consult your doctor about it and not just base it on hearsay or with what you read online.
Additionally, there are doctors who complement traditional forms of medicine with alternative forms of medicine. If you're interested in alternative medicine for you and your family, you can always ask your doctor about it. There are some studies that show that some types of herbal medicine have been effective in treating certain diseases, and these can be used hand in hand with traditional medicine to create an effective form of treatment.
As always, we need to err on the side of caution when it comes to not only alternative medicine, but medicine in general. Treatments should undergo intensive testing and approval by various agencies and regulatory bodies. We should never put the lives of our kids at risk just because we're interested in new forms of medicine.
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