Homeopathic medicine for acute cough in upper respiratory tract infections and acute bronchitis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Zanasi A, Mazzolini M, Tursi F, Morselli-Labate AM, Paccapelo A, Lecchi M.
Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2013 May 25.
Cough is a frequent symptom associated to upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and, although being self-limiting, it might deeply affect the quality of life. Homeopathic products are often employed by patients to treat cough, but the evidence on their efficacy is scarce. Thus, we tested the efficacy of a homeopathic syrup in treating cough arising from URTIs with a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. Patients were treated with either the homeopathic syrup or a placebo for a week, and recorded cough severity in a diary by means of a verbal category-descriptive score for two weeks. Sputum viscosity was assessed with a viscosimeter before and after 4 days of treatment; patients were also asked to provide a subjective evaluation of viscosity. Eighty patients were randomized to receive placebo (n = 40) or the homeopathic syrup (n = 40). All patients completed the study. In each group cough scores decreased over time, however, after 4 and 7 days of treatment, cough severity was significantly lower in the homeopathic group than in the placebo one (P < 0.001 and P = 0.023, respectively). Sputum was collected from 53 patients: in both groups its viscosity significantly decreased after 4 days of treatment (P < 0.001); however, viscosity was significantly lower in the homeopathic group (P = 0.018). Instead, the subjective evaluation did not significantly differ between the two groups (P = 0.059). No adverse events related to any treatment were reported. We concluded that the homeopathic syrup employed in the study was able to effectively reduce cough severity and sputum viscosity, thereby representing a valid remedy for the management of acute cough induced by URTIs.
From the Irish Times
Homeopathy and healthcare
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 00:00
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 00:00
Sir, – “Journalists must always be aware of their role to serve the public’s right to know,” the former editor of The Irish Times Geraldine Kennedy, was reported as saying (June 24th, 2011).
The public does indeed have a right to know and to an informed choice about healthcare. Donald Clarke (February 23rd) by discrediting any complementary or alternative options to conventional medicine, does not serve the public interest well.
Surely we’re entitled to know that regarding homeopathy 43 per cent of Randomised Control Trials (RCT) have a balance of positive evidence, 6 per cent have a balance of negative evidence, 49 per cent have not been conclusively positive or negative and 2 per cent do not contain data that are suitable for analysis.
According to the British Medical Journal, a review of conventional medical procedures funded by the National Health Service produced the following figures: 11 per cent beneficial, 24 per cent likely to be beneficial, 7 per cent trade-off between benefits and harms, 5 per cent unlikely to be beneficial, 3 per cent likely to be ineffective or harmful and 50 per cent of unknown effectiveness.
Thus homeopathy is as effective as conventional medicine, if not more so.
This debate has been going on for a number of years, but we have yet to see a fair and impartial view of the matter published and the public informed of the choices that are available when it comes to healthcare. In the rest of Europe and the world, homeopathy and various therapies are widely accepted and used by doctors and other practitioners. Does our right to know not extend to our health? – Yours, etc,
Lic ISH, IS Hom,
Portmarnock, Co Dublin.