Dangers of Homeopathy
Homeopathy or homeopathic medicine gets less attention than CAM, but there are some similarities. Specifically, both systems offer treatments that are not evidence-based and that have not been studied and scrutinized as have western medicine. I have written many times about CAM, but I think this is the first time that I have addressed homeopathy. Honestly, I know much less about it, but I do know a few people who are enthusiastic about its value.
What is it? Homeopathy is the treatment of disease by giving patients minute doses of a remedy that would, in larger doses, produce symptoms of the disease itself. Based on the idea that "like cures like", the theory is that the tiny does enhances the body's normal healing processes.
The Food and Drug Administration just ended a two day hearing about homeopathy, and they got an earful. I am going to share an article from The New York Times that describes the concerns raised during the course of this hearing. For us, I think that this again means that we need to talk with our doctors before embarking on other kinds of treatment. It may well sometimes be fine, but you do need to think about it first.
Here is the start and then a link to read more:
FDA: Safety Problems Prompted Review of Homeopathic Remedies
WASHINGTON — A top federal drug regulator says increased safety problems with homeopathic remedies
contributed to the government's decision to revisit its oversight of the products this week.
The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday wrapped up a two-day meeting to hear from supporters and
critics of products like Zicam Allergy Relief and Cold-Eeze, alternative remedies that are protected by federal
law, but not accepted by mainstream medicine.
Similar to dietary supplements, the FDA does not review the safety or effectiveness of homeopathic
remedies before they are sold. But unlike supplements, homeopathic medicines can state that they are intended for specific medical symptoms and conditions.
The FDA's Cynthia Schnedar, a director of drug compliance, said the agency has issued 40 warning letters to homeopathic product makers since 2009 amid increasing U.S. sales.
In perhaps the most serious case, in 2009 the FDA ordered the maker of Zicam to stop marketing three
products that contained zinc gluconate. The agency linked those products to 130 reports from consumers who said they lost their sense of smell.
In 2010, the FDA warned about reports of toxicity in children taking Hyland Homeopathic's teething
tablets, which contained a berry-derived toxin called belladonna that can be poisonous in larger doses.