Homeopathy is a system of treatment practiced by professional homeopaths that are qualified to prescribe remedies according to their diagnosis of the disease. However, homeopathic remedies are readily available over-the-counter in pharmacies and health food shops throughout the UK. These remedies, which are in the form of granules, tablets, powders or drops, are mainly for symptomatic treatment of disease-related symptoms (e.g. for pain).
Background and history
Homeopathy is a form of treatment founded by Samuel Hahnemann in the 18th century. According to The Society of Homeopaths in England, homeopathy is based on the theory of “treating like with like” and based on an observation that symptoms of an illness are identical to those experienced by a healthy person treated for that illness.
How homeopathy works?
Similar to traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy is a holistic method of treatment and hence, the mechanism of action of its remedies is not clear. Remedies are often diluted to the point where there may be no molecules of original substance left. Homeopathic remedies are produced by a sequence of dilutions of an active substance causing similar symptoms in the belief that this will reduce the likelihood of harm.
Are homeopathic medications 100% safe in arthritis?
While homeopathic remedies are considered to be safe, allergic reactions (e.g. rash) have been reported by some patients. Worsening of symptoms might also occur in some patients at the beginning of treatment.
Is there any risk of drug interactions?
Interactions with other drugs have not been well studied, although this is unlikely to occur given the high dilution of these remedies.
What is the recommended dosage?
Unfortunately, homeopathic medications dosages in arthritis patients have not been well studied. There are many homeopathic remedies that can be used in the treatment of various forms of arthritis. Patients should follow the dosage recommended by the homeopath or the homeopathic pharmaceutical company.
What is the scientific evidence?
One of the famous published clinical trials involving 36 people with arthritis compared oral administration of a homeopathic remedy, Rhus toxicodendron (group 1); oral administration of 600mg/day of an NSAID, Fenoprofen (group 2); and oral administration of placebo tablets and drops (group 3). After two weeks of treatment, significant reduction in pain was only achieved by patients in group 2 (i.e. those on NSAIDs).Hence, no positive results were noted after homeopathic treatment.
While a number of people still use homeopathic medications to relieve their arthritis symptoms, a number of drawbacks have been associated with their use such as:
- Limited or no dosage information
- No solid scientific backing for effectiveness in arthritis
- May be expensive in long run
- May take months or even years to show positive effects, if any
Therefore, using a safer, better and more affordable herbal option such as Provailen can be your best bet if you are already tired of trying homeopathic again and again to control or cure your arthritis, regardless of its type and severity.