The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the deaths of 10 children and 400 adverse events surrounding the use of homeopathic teething pills.

The FDA warned that teething children should stop using the treatment, and to go to a doctor if the child exhibits symptoms such as seizures, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation – similar symptoms displayed over the last six years.

The agency also asked caregivers and parents to throw away any remaining pills and gels.

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"Teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies,” said Janet Woodcock, managing director of the FDA’s center for drug evaluation and research. 

"We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives."

CVS and Walgreens, both US pharmacies, have withdrawn the treatments from their shelves. However, there is no recall on the products, which include: Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets, Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets Nighttime and Hyland's Baby Teething Gel.

Hylands chose to discontinue its product line, writing in a letter to employees: "This decision was made in light of the recent warning issued by the Food & Drug Administration against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels. This warning has created confusion among parents and limited access to the medicines.

"Putting you in a position of having to choose who to trust in the face of contradictory information is burdensome and undermines the FDA."

A safety alert for the tablets was first issued in 2010.

The FDA discovered inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a perennial herbaceous plant, in the tablets, and had received reports of adverse events related to using the products that were inconsistent with belladonna toxicity, as reported by CNN.

Hylands said it had reduced the amount of belladonna and revamped its production process.

Parents are advised to instead massage a child's gums with a clean finger or use a teething ring.

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