FDA and Homeopathic Medicines

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

JANUARY 03, 2018

Hopefully this is news that we all all appreciate. Different people have very different views of the value/importance of CAM (complementary and alternative therapies) and homeopathic medicines and other non-traditional approaches. When dealing with cancer, all of us are determined to do everything that we can to promote good health and healing, and some of us may well choose to include non-western approaches.

This gets tricky because we don't really know that much about many of these treatments nor about the way they might interact with western drugs. It does not make a lot of sense to agree to chemotherapy and then simultaneously take supplements that interfere with their efficacy. Most oncologists are quite open to the addition of CAM or other treatments once active anti-cancer therapy has been completed, but worry about doing it all at the same time. Note that these efforts are not cancer-specific.

This article from STAT examines the more active role that the FDA plans in examining some of these drugs, especially homeopathic medicines. Trying to stay completely neutral, it seems wise to know as much as possible about any drugs or treatments we are considering and how they might impact one another.


FDA To Target High-Risk Homeopathic Medicines

U.S. health officials plan to crack down on a growing number of unproven alternative remedies, focusing on products containing dangerous ingredients that have occasionally been linked to serious injury and death.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a new proposal for regulating homeopathic medicines that have long been on the fringe of mainstream medicine. The agency plans to target products that pose the biggest safety risks, including those marketed for children or for serious diseases.

But under the government’s framework, the vast majority of low-risk products would remain on the market.

Long regarded by scientists as a form of modern-day snake oil, homeopathic products are treated as drugs under law, but not supported by modern science. Most remedies contain heavily diluted drugs, vitamins, and minerals. Popular homeopathic brands include Zicam Allergy Relief and Cold-Eeze.


Read more: https://www.statnews.com/2017/12/18/homeopathic-medicines-fda/

View All Articles