A Seattle mom who lost her 13-month-old son just three years ago now claims she knows what caused his death – a cold remedy marketed by Hyland’s Homeopathic. The same company recently came under fire for marketing teething tablets that U.S. health regulators said contained inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a potentially toxic ingredient.
In January 2014, little Jay’Breon was given Hyland’s Tiny Cold Capsules by a caregiver to treat the symptoms of a cold. According to a report that recently aired on KIRO 7 TV in Seattle, Hyland’s touted the capsules as a “natural” remedy.
Not long after, Jay’Breon’s mother received a terrible phone call.
“They said that I had a family emergency and I have to leave work,” Tanessa Desranleau told KIRO 7 TV. “And she says Jay’Breon is dead. I just like fell on the ground and was crying and screaming.”
She now alleges that an ingredient in Hyland’s Tiny Cold Capsules is actually a form of poison.
That ingredient is a woody plant native to the southeast called gelsemium sempervirens. Like belladonna, it can be toxic if too much is ingested.
Desranleau has filed a lawsuit against Hyland’s for the alleged wrongful death of her son.
“I just want justice out of this,” she told KIRO 7 TV. “I just want something where this medicine is not allowed to do this other people’s lives.”
In September, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned against the use of any homeopathic teething tablets and gels, including those marketed by Hyland’s. A review of the agency’s adverse event database implicated such products in hundreds of injuries, including 10 infant deaths.
In response, Hyland’s announced it would no longer market homeopathic teething medications in the U.S. However, Hyland’s Tiny Cold Tablets were not affected by that decision, and they remain on store shelves.
In January, the FDA issued a warning specific to Hyland’s teething tablets , advising consumers to discard any in their possession. The agency acted after testing confirmed that they contained inconsistent amounts of potentially toxic belladonna. However, Hyland’s parent company insists a recall is not necessary, as sales had already been discontinued in this country.
Hyland’s did announce a teething tablets recall in 2010, after the products were linked to a number of adverse events. Those recalled medications were also found to contain inconsistent amounts of belladonna.