Is homeopathy useful in the treatment of allergic

homeopathy-pills.jpgThere are a number of systematic reviews of the use of homeopathy in the treatment of allergic, ENT and respiratory conditions.Each review is of only a small number of individual trials, and within this small number there is considerable variation both in research methodology and in homeopathic treatment methodologies (classical, low potency, complex and isopathic prescribing). The field is also affected by conflicting results and lack of confirmatory studies.
Despite this background there have been trials strongly suggestive of benefit in allergic oculorhinitis treated with Galphimia Glauca showing  statistically significant effects of remedy over placebo, and for complex homeopathic medicines (containing several different homeopathic medicines)  for sinusitis and rhinoconjunctivitis and otitis treated classically. There is also evidence that an homeopathic complex is equally effective as standard treatment for vertigo. Additonally, there is less strong evidence of benefit in the treatment of asthma and allergic disorders with classical homeopathy. The use of isopathic treatment (ie treatment of the same with the same, eg homeopathic dilutions of pollen for hayfever) of allergic disorders has been shown over a series of four RCTs to be statistically superior to placebo.
The overall conclusion at this point must be that there is insufficient evidence to judge whether or not homeopathy is useful in the treatment of allergic, ENT and respiratory conditions, and that more RCTs and observational studies of the whole homeopathic “package of care” are required.
However, the evidence base so far includes clear evidence of superior effects of homeopathy over placebo in these conditions and of trends in favour of homeopathy over placebo. Finally, the real world study of the use of homeopathy “in the field” in the treatment of recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis shows that including homeopathy produces superior medical effectiveness, less complications of the disease, a reduced number of consultations, improved quality of life and reduction in amount of parental leave from work.

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