Dosing In Acute Cases: How Often to Take the Remedy and in What Potency?

Hpathy Ezine, January, 2005 | Print This Post Print This Post |

Questions answered about acute prescribing.

This is a tough one because there is no formula per se; nonetheless, we do have a guideline: Take the indicated remedy in a 30C potency 4 times a day for two or three days, and here’s how to do that:  Drop one or two pellets of the remedy into a small bottle of spring water (pour some of the water off the top first because these bottles tend to be over-filled), succuss (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) five times before each dose; a dose is a sip; OR, you can pour a capful from your bottle into half a cup of water, stir, sip, pour the rest of the cup out.  Try to use disposable cups for this.  Here is a youtube video showing how to do the thing I just described:

  (P.S., no need to wait for the pellets to melt before dosing).  

Now, here come all the “buts”.


1. If after 24 hours there is no indication that the remedy has had any effect whatsoever, it’s probably the wrong remedy and you should try to find another.

2. As soon as the remedy starts to work in a significant way, which may be as soon as 5 minutes, don’t do any repetitions unless the case either stalls or relapses. The homeopathic remedy is like the ignition key that starts your car, once you’re moving there’s no need to keep starting it over and over again,

 unless you stall.

3. If you’ve taken the remedy and have gotten only slight improvement, continue to dose three or four times a day.  Always succuss the bottle five times before each dose.

4. If your complaint has come on suddenly, you should see the remedy work fast.

5. If you’re in a very severe case, don’t think you have to wait 24 hours. The acute remedy should work in 15 minutes. Let’s take an injury, for example. Within 10 minutes, some relief should be felt, if only in the sense of feeling more relaxed.  That’s enough of a sign that the remedy was correctly chosen, is working, and you simply need to wait.  Repeat on an as-needed basis.

6. Let’s say you’ve had a cold for 2 weeks. We would not expect you to be better in 15 minutes. This situation is better suited to the “4 times a day for 2 or 3 days” guideline. Here is a range of responses I get from people who have been helped in this way: “In 6 hours my throat was better!” “By the next day I knew I was getting better.” “I only took one dose, because I forgot to take the remedy after that, and the next day I was better anyway, I couldn’t believe it!”

7. Whenever you’re repeating a remedy, it’s OK to take the first dose dry, but try to take subsequent doses in water as explained above. This protects you from accidental “provings” (a kind of aggravation) and accidentally antidoting the remedy.

8. If your symptoms get worse after taking a remedy, don’t despair. This has happened to me, though only once. It only means that the potency was higher than necessary, but the good news is that this is almost always an indication that the remedy chosen was correct and an improvement is sure to follow. Give the case about half an hour to settle down.

9. The wrong remedy: The wrong remedy generally will do absolutely nothing, meaning you’ll have to check your acute prescribing book

and make another choice, or tell your homeopath that the remedy did nothing. However, sometimes the wrong remedy may cause an unsettling feeling, not the same as when the right remedy causes a temporary worsening of the symptoms in the case. The way to antidote a disturbing remedy is to take an equal or smaller dose of the same remedy; so, if you had aggravated on three pellets dry on your tongue of the wrong remedy, antidote with one pellet of the same remedy. If you had dosed with a sip of water, antidote with an UNstirred, smaller sip of the same water.

10. There are definitely occasions where the right remedy has been tried in a 30C and it hasn’t worked. This is because the case is so intense it needs a higher potency. This has happened to me at least twice. The first time, I remember that I sensed that maybe the 30C of Arsenicum I had taken had done some good, and going with that intuition, I tried Arsenicum 200C and it worked beautifully; and I also recall a recent incident, this was another case of eating bad food, which Arsenicum is so well-known for curing, and taking Ars. 30C did not work at all this time. I had moved on to other seemingly well-indicated remedies like Carbo veg. and China and Veratrum alb. and none of them worked. As a last resort I said, “Let’s try Arsenicum in the 200th potency,” and voila! a total success!  Even having said all this, what if all you have is a 6C? I would put the 6C in water, succuss before each dose, and give a sip every 5 to 10 minutes in a severe case, maybe once every half an hour in a less severe case. Always remember to take your remedy less and less often as improvement sets in, and, it should go without saying, if the remedy makes you worse, stop taking it!

11.   What about chronic cases, you may ask, or constitutional cases?  People attend homeopathy school for years to learn how to do this, and even then it’s not so easy!  Chronic cases are usually layer upon layer of unresolved, caked-on, hard-to-remove junk that gives the homeopath a headache!  There is no magic bullet for these cases the way there often is for an acute, so I couldn’t possibly give you an answer to this question here other than to say: ask the person what is the worst thing that’s bothering him right now, and take the case of just that and treat it like it was an acute (with the one exception being that I would change the 30C to a 6C because of how debilitated these people with chronic disease often are), and if you’re lucky enough to get that to go away, you can ask again: what’s the worst thing that’s bothering you right now, and so on until you finally get to the bottom which is where the constitutional layer ought to be.  But when I say “worst thing”, people will often answer “cancer” or “Parkinsons Disease” which is not a helpful answer.  What you want to know is, “What’s bothering you the most right now?  Is it insomnia?  Is it pain?  Is it dizziness?”  These are the things you can help a person with.  Good luck. 

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom. Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and


  1. Dr.Md.Kasim S.Shaikhpatil

    October 3, 2012

    useful artical

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