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Don't give kids homeopathic teething tablets, FDA warns parents

Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 11:17 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 11:17 AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week warned parents against using homeopathic teething tablets and gels as regulators investigate reports of infants and children suffering seizures and other health issues after taking the natural remedies.

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The FDA zeroed in on tablets and gels distributed by CVS Pharmacy and Hyland's Homeopathy in a warning released Friday, although regulators noted that other retailers might sell the products or similar ones in stores nationwide and online.

The tablets and gels are unnecessary to get children through teething, Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a news release.

"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," she said.

Regulators warned parents to be particularly careful if children suffer from seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating or agitation, all signs of belladonna toxicity, after taking the teething remedies.

The warning comes six years after the FDA warned parents against using Hyland's Teething Tablets. Regulators said a laboratory analysis found that the tablets used an inconsistent amount of belladonna, a substance that can be toxic in large doses.

Belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, is not uncommon in homeopathic remedies and is used by Hyland's to combat redness, inflammation and general discomfort.

In a statement, Hyland's described the FDA warning as a "surprise" and said the company is "confident that Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets remain safe."

The company is cooperating with the FDA investigation, although it said it had yet to learn of any of the data supporting the FDA's warning.

The company's teething tablets are sold over the counter and are tested for excessive belladonna content and contaminants, Hyland's said.

"A 10-pound child would have to accidentally ingest, all at the same time, more than a dozen bottles of 135 Baby Teething Tablets before experiencing even dry mouth from the product," the company said in a statement.

"Additionally, the body clears belladonna alkaloids from any single dose in a matter of hours," making it unlikely that the substance would build in a person's system, the company said.

The company also worried about "rumors" that cause "fear and worry" about belladonna.

"This new FDA statement increases the confusion," the company said. "The safety and effectiveness of Hyland's natural homeopathic medicines is our top priority. That's why we work with regulators to ensure that our products meet the highest standards."

However, the FDA said the tablets and gels have not been evaluated or approved for either safety or efficacy by the government agency. Regulators said they were unaware "of any proven health benefit of the products."

The FDA is investigating the issue. Among other steps, regulators are testing product samples to determine whether there are unsafe levels of belladonna or other substances.

Halloween-costumed men rob bank, police say

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 9:31 AM

Men In Halloween Costumes Rob Bank, Police Say

Oviedo police are searching for three men they said wore Halloween masks and costumes to rob a bank.

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The men walked into the Trustco Bank at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday with guns and robbed the bank tellers, then forced them into a back room to open a safe, police said.

The men then fled in an older model tan or gold Ford Explorer, police said.

Georgia Rep. Betty Price suggests ‘quarantine’ for HIV patients

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 3:08 PM

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) stands with his wife Betty Price before being sworn in as the new Health and Human Services Secretary, on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) stands with his wife Betty Price before being sworn in as the new Health and Human Services Secretary, on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Georgia Rep. Betty Price, R-Roswell, in a study committee this week, asked if the government could “quarantine” people with HIV.

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Price is married to Tom Price, who recently resigned as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Her comments came in a discussion of the spread of HIV and disparities in care within the state. The committee is dedicated to examining and addressing barriers to access to healthcare in Georgia.

“And I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it,” Price said. “Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise, or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

According to an official biography, Price was conferred her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) at McGill University in Montreal. 

“She worked for over 20 years in the medical field practicing Anesthesiology in Roswell and Marietta (Georgia),” the biography reads. “She served on the Boards of the Medical Association of Atlanta and the Medical Association of Georgia and is a past president of the American Medical Women’s Association in Atlanta.” 

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Price’s statements were first reported by Project Q Atlanta.

Mandalay Bay to lock hotel room of Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas shooter, indefinitely

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:55 PM

New Details Emerge On Las Vegas Shooter, Stephen Paddock

The suite rented by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock will remain locked indefinitely as hotel employees work to preserve evidence related to the shooting, the New York Post reported.

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MGM Resorts International, which owns and operates the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, announced Thursday that it will not rent the 32nd-floor room following the Oct. 1 massacre that killed 58 people and wounded nearly 500 others attending a country music concert.

“This was a terrible tragedy perpetrated by an evil man,” MGM said in a statement, according to the Las Vegas Sun. “We have no intention of renting that room.”

The company decided to shutter the room indefinitely Thursday as Mandalay Bay officials were ordered to preserve photos, surveillance video and other evidence pertaining to the incident.

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It’s unclear what Mandalay Bay will do with the infamous room once the investigation is completed. The company is said to be cooperating with investigators. It has been asked to hand over all of Paddock’s gambling records there.

Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher)(John Locher/AP)

Black Friday 2017: Some toy 'books,' holiday ads released

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:18 PM

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  People walk past a shopfront on Oxford Street advertising 'Black Friday' discounts on November 28, 2014 in London, England.  Originating in the USA as a sales day that following the Thanksgiving holiday, 'Black Friday' is becoming an increasingly popular shopping day in the UK.  (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Rob Stothard/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: People walk past a shopfront on Oxford Street advertising 'Black Friday' discounts on November 28, 2014 in London, England. Originating in the USA as a sales day that following the Thanksgiving holiday, 'Black Friday' is becoming an increasingly popular shopping day in the UK. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)(Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

As the Black Friday shopping day nears – Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving – more stores are releasing information about deals to come.

Toy"R"Us has announced that it will update its Price Match Guarantee for the upcoming holiday season, pledging to donate $1 to Toys for Tots for every price match purchase.

According to BlackFridayAds.net, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us will also collect new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps program.

>>Black Friday 2017: Macy’s, Big Lots, GameStop to open on Thanksgiving

Dollar General is among several retailers that have released a “toy book,” or a book featuring advertisements for toys that will be on sale through the Christmas season.

Other retailers releasing toy ads and holiday shopping ads in advance of Black Friday are:

Blain’s Farm & Fleet

Hallmark

Harbor Freight Tools 

Kmart

Lego

Mill’s Fleet Farm

Nieman Marcus

Sam’s Club