What is Homeopathy?
The practice of homeopathic medicine, or homeopathy, has existed for more than 200 years and is based on the Principle of Similars, loosely translated as “Like cures like”. This principle asserts that pharmacologically-active ingredients producing a characteristic set of symptoms at a higher dose can relieve or cure similar symptoms when given at a much lower dose.
How do Homeopathic Medicines work?
Homeopathic medicines attempt to stimulate a response by the body’s own healing mechanisms. In other words, homeopathic medicines harness the power of the body’s own immune system by imposing a gentle stimulus, and then letting your natural defenses do the rest.
What are Homeopathic Medicines?
Homeopathic medicines are derived from natural botanical, mineral or biological substances and are classified as either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription (Rx) drug products. After demonstrating conformance to established safety and efficacy criteria, approved homeopathic medicines are listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS) where they are indicated for relief of specific symptoms at specified OTC and Rx dose potencies.
How Potent are Homeopathic Medicines?
In contrast to conventional medicines, homeopathic medicines are believed to be more effective when they are diluted. The potencies of homeopathic medicines are specified in terms of dilution, i.e., 1x (1/10 dilution), 2x (1/100 dilution), etc.
How are OTC Homeopathic Medicines Delivered?
Homeopathic OTC medicines are available in numerous product and dosage forms. Homeopathic medicines may be delivered to the body in the form of capsules, creams, eye drops, gels, granules, liquids, lozenges, nasal sprays,ointments, pills, tablets, suppositories, and syrups.
What are OTC Homeopathic Products used to Treat?
OTC homeopathic products, like other drug products sold over-the-counter, are indicated for treatment of self-limiting conditions with recognizable symptoms amenable to self-diagnosis. On the other hand, homeopathic and other drug products indicated for conditions that are not self-limiting and amenable to self-diagnosis require a prescription and consultation with a healthcare provider.
Are Homeopathic Products Safe?
Because homeopathic medicines deliver very small amounts of active ingredient, they are widely considered safe for use. Despite extensive marketing history, very few side effects have been reported in association with use of homeopathic remedies. However as with all other medicines, the user should read the product label carefully prior to taking any homeopathic medicine, comply with all instructions for use, and consult a health care provider or pharmacist with any special health related questions or concerns regarding potential drug interactions.
Are Homeopathic Products Regulated by the FDA?
Homeopathic products are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and classified as drugs under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Homeopathic medicines must comply with FDA labeling requirements and be manufactured in accordance with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). Manufacturers of homeopathic products are required to register with the FDA and are subject to FDA inspections. As with all medicines, homeopathic manufacturers must report any serious adverse reactions to FDA.