KEY TRIALS AND SURVEYS
Diarrhoea in children
Treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea in Nicaragua
This trial involved 81 children aged from 6 months to 5 years in a randomised, double-blind trial of intravenous fluids plus placebo versus intravenous fluids plus homeopathic remedy individualised to the patient. The treatment group had a statistically significant decrease in duration of diarrhoea.
Jacobs J. Treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea with homeopathic medicine: a randomized clinical trial in Nicaragua. Pediatrics 1994; 93: 719-725.
Treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea, repeated in Nepal
In a replication of a trial carried out in Nicaragua in 1994, 116 Nepalese children aged 6 months to 5 years suffering from diarrhoea were given an individualised homoeopathic medicine or placebo. Treatment by homoeopathy showed a significant improvement in the condition in comparison to placebo.
Jacobs J., Jimenez M., Malthouse S., Chapman E., Crothers D., Masuk M., Jonas W.B., Acute Childhood Diarrhoea- A Replication., Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 6, 2000, 131-139.
A meta-analysis of childhood diarrhoea trials
This meta-analysis of 242 children showed a highly significant result in the duration of childhood diarrhoea (P=0.008). It should be noted that the World Health Organisation consider childhood diarrhoea to be the number one public health problem today because of the millions of children who die every year from dehydration from diarrhoea.
J. Jacobs, WB Jonas, M Jimenez-Perez, D Crothers, Homeopathy for Childhood Diarrhea: Combined Results and Meta-analysis from Three Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials http://homeopathic.com/articles/research/diarrhea_t.php
Respiratory tract complaints
Homeopathy versus conventional treatment in respiratory tract complaints
In an outcome study, 30 practitioners in four countries enrolled 500 consecutive patients with at least one of three complaints: upper respiratory tract complaints including allergies; lower respiratory tract complaints including allergies; or ear complaints. Of 456 patients, 281 received homeopathy and 175 conventional treatment. The primary outcome criterion was response to treatment, defined as cured or major improvement after 14 days of treatment. Results showed a response rate of 82.6% in the homeopathy group compared to 67.3% in the group receiving conventional medicine. The authors concluded that homeopathy appeared to be at least as effective as conventional treatment of patients with the three conditions studied.
Riley D, Fischer M, Singh B, Haidvogl M, Heger M. Homeopathy and conventional medicine: an outcomes study comparing effectiveness in a primary care setting. J Altern Complement Med 2001; 7: 149-159.
Homeopathy versus conventional treatment in recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in children
Prospective pragmatic study, comparison of homeopathy versus antibiotics in the treatment of recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in children (18 months to 4 years) over a 6 month period. Results showed that homeopathy was significantly better than antibiotics in terms of episodes of rhinopharyngitis (2.71 vs 3.97, p<0.001), number of complications (1.25 vs 1.95, p<0.001) and quality of life (global score: 21.38 vs 30.43, p<0.001). Homeopathic treatment also contributed to lower medical costs (88 Euros vs 99 Euros, p<0.05) and significantly less sick-leave (9.5% of parents vs 31.6% of parents, p<0.001).
Trichard M, Chaufferin G, Nicoloyannis N. Pharmacoeconomic comparison between homeopathic and antibiotic treatment strategies in recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in children. Homeopathy. 2005 Jan;94(1):3-9
Homeopathy versus conventional treatment in otitis media
Prospective observational study, comparison of homeopathy versus conventional treatment in acute otitis media. Conclusion: homeopathy should be first line treatment in acute otitis media. Results showed median duration of pain of 2 days in the homeopathy-group and 3 days in the conventional medicine group. 70.7 % of the children receiving homeopathic treatment did not have another ear infection the next year and 29.3 % had a maximum of three ear infections within one year. 56.5 % in the conventional medicine group did not have another ear infection the next year and 43.5 % had a maximum of six ear infections the next year. Results showed that in the group receiving homeopathic treatment only 5 out of 103 children needed antibiotics.
Friese K-H, Kruse S, Ludtke R, Moeller H “Homeopathic treatment of otitis media in children: comparisons with conventional therapy”. Int J Clin Pharmacol Theridion 1997; 35: 296-301.
Acute otitis media in children
A study involving children suffering from acute otitis media suggests that a positive treatment effect from homeopathy when compared with placebo in acute otitis media cannot be excluded. There were fewer treatment failures in the group receiving homeopathy after 5 days, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks, with differences of 11.4, 18.4, and 19.9%, respectively, but these differences were not statistically significant. Diary scores showed a significant decrease in symptoms at 24 and 64 h after treatment in favour of homeopathy (P<0.05).
Jacobs J, Springer DA, Crothers D. Homeopathic treatment of acute otitis media in children: a preliminary randomized placebo-controlled trial. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2001; 20: 177-183.
Acute otitis media in children
In a trial of 230 children who were given homeopathic treatment to treat acute otitis media, pain relief was achieved in 39% of the patients after 6 h and another 33% after 12 h. The resolution rates were 2.4 times faster than in placebo controls. No complications were observed and compared to conventional treatment the homeopathic approach was 14% cheaper.
Frei H, Thurneysen A. Homeopathy in acute otitis media in children: treatment effect or spontaneous resolution? Br Homeopath J 2001; 90: 180-182.
Glue ear in children
In a pilot study in children suffering from glue ear treated with homeopathy 75% had normal tympanogram, compared to 31% in the group treated with conventional medicine. A higher proportion of children receiving homeopathic treatment had a hearing loss less than 20 dB at follow-up, though the difference was not statistically significant. The authors concluded that further research comparing homeopathy to standard care is warranted; 270 patients would be needed for a definitive trial.
Harrison H, Fixsen A, Vickers A. A randomized comparison of homoeopathic, standard care for the treatment of glue ear in children. Compl Therap Med 1999; 7: 132-135.
In an uncontrolled clinical trial of 119 patients suffering from clinical signs of acute sinusitis were treated using homeopathic medicines. Typical sinusitis symptoms, such as headache, pressure pain at nerve exit points, and irritating cough, were reduced after a mean of 4.1 days of treatment. Ninety-nine received only a homeopathic test medication, 20 patients were able to discontinue concomitant medication at the first visit, and only one patient needed antibiotics. Average duration of treatment was 2 weeks. At the end of treatment 81.5 % described themselves as symptom free or significantly improved. No adverse medication effects were reported.
Adler M. Efficacy, safety of a fixed-combination homeopathic therapy for sinusitis. Adv Ther 1999; 16: 103-111.
Forty-six patients with rheumatoid arthritis received an individualised remedy or placebo in a 3-month randomised trial. Both groups were allowed to continue standard anti-inflammatory drugs. After 3 months, the double-blind code was broken and remedies were given to members of the placebo group in a single crossover study. Articular index, limbering up time, grip strength and pain all showed statistically significant differences.
Gibson RG, Gibson SLM, MacNeill AD, Buchanan WW Homeopathic therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation by double-blind clinical therapeutic trial. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 1980; 9: 453-459.
In this trial, 65 sufferers of Osteoarthritis (OA) were split into 2 groups, and through a double blinding process were given either a homoeopathic medicine or Acetaminophen, a commonly prescribed drug for pain relief in OA. Researchers found that homoeopathy provided a level of pain relief that was superior to Acetaminophen, and produced no adverse reactions.
Shealy C.N., Thomlinson P.R., Cox R.H., and Bormeyer V. Osteoarthritis Pain: A Comparison of Homoeopathy and Acetaminophen. American Journal of Pain Management, 8, 3, July 1998, 89-91.
A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of individualised homeopathic treatment (LM potency) versus placebo in 53 patients, concluded that individualised homeopathy is significantly better than placebo in lessening tender point pain, improving the quality of life and overall health, and less depression of persons with fibromyalgia. A broad selection of homeopathic medicines in LM-potencies were prescribed and the trial was carried out over a 4 month period.
Bell IR, Lewis II DA, Brooks AJ, Schwartz GE, Lewis SE, Walsh BT, Baldwin CM. Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo. Rheumatology Advance Access, January 20, 2004.
In a randomised placebo-controlled trial of patients with fibrositis, only those patients in whom Rhus toxicodendron was ‘unequivocally indicated’ were admitted to the study. After 1 month’s treatment, there were highly significant improvements in objective and subjective parameters.
Fisher P. An experimental double-blind clinical trial in homoeopathy. British Homoeopathic Journal 1986; 75: 142-147.
Hay fever, Asthma and Perennial Rhinitis
A study of 200 patients suffering from hypersensitivity illnesses, including asthma, eczema, urticaria, hay fever and other allergies, showed that homeopathy was at least as effective as conventional treatment. The study, which was retrospective and comparative, looked at the experienced effect in everyday clinical practice of general practitioners and classical homeopaths. Where most patients who were treated by medical doctors experienced an aggravation of their symptoms when stopping conventional drugs, only 1/3 of patients in the homeopathy group experienced such an aggravation (P = 0.002). Only one patient on conventional treatment experienced improvement of symptoms after stopping medication, compared to improvement in 2/3 of homeopathy patients. Patients in the homeopathy group reported a larger improvement in their general state of health, with 57% improving, compared to 24% in the conventional group (difference P = 0.004). Homeopathy patients also experienced more positive change in their psychological state (P<0.0001). For quality of life 53% in the homeopathy group improved, compared to 15 % in the conventional group.