Homeopathy may help reduce the use of antibiotics in URTIs
11 Sep 2015
Two recent trials further demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment in acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), and therefore its potential for reducing antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance.
The first trial, published in Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2014), was a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial involving the use of homeopathic medicine for acute cough in upper respiratory tract infections and acute bronchitis. Eighty patients were randomized to receive placebo or a homeopathic syrup. After 4 and 7 days of treatment, cough severity and sputum viscosity was significantly lower in the homeopathic group than in the placebo one. The researchers 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.
A follow up real-life preliminary observational study in a paediatric population has now been published in Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine (August 2015) comparing those who received homeopathic treatment with those who received homeopathic treatment plus antibiotics. The aims were firstly to assess whether the addition of antibiotics to a symptomatic treatment had a role in reducing the severity and duration of acute cough, and secondly to verify the safety of the two treatments. Eighty-five children were enrolled in an open study: both groups responded similarly to the two courses of treatment. However, two children reported adverse effects in the group treated with the homeopathic syrup alone, versus 9 children in the group treated with the homeopathic syrup plus antibiotics. The researchers conclude from the data that the homeopathic treatment in question has potential benefits for cough in children as well, and highlight the strong safety profile of this treatment. Additional antibiotic prescription was not associated with a greater cough reduction, and presented more adverse events than the homeopathic syrup alone.