Treatment of vertigo with a homeopathic complex remedy compared with usual treatments: A meta-analysis of clinical trials

Institut für Biometrie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany.
Arzneimittel-Forschung (Impact Factor: 0.7). 02/2005; 55(1):23-9. DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1296821
Source: PubMed


The increasing interest in alternative medical practices has led to a number of controlled studies on herbal and homeopathic agents. This paper presents the results of a meta-analysis of four recent clinical trials evaluating the homeopathic preparation Vertigoheel (VH) compared with usual therapies (betahistine, Ginkgo biloba extract, dimenhydrinate) for vertigo in a total of 1388 patients. Two trials were observational studies and the other two were randomised double-blind controlled trials. The duration of treatment (6-8 weeks) and dosage were comparable in all studies. Treatments were evaluated for the variables "number of vertigo episodes", "intensity of episodes" and "duration of episodes". As the studies differed in the age of patients and in the baseline values of vertigo, the individual reductions of number, intensity and duration of episodes were adjusted on equal age and baseline values (total means). An analysis of variance (with studies as random effects) showed no relevant influence of studies on the adjusted reductions and no relevant interaction between studies and treatment effects. The meta-analysis of all four trials showed equivalent reductions with VH and with control treatment: mean reduction of the number of daily episodes 4.0 for VH and 3.9 for control (standard error 0.11 for both groups); mean reduction of the duration (on a scale 0-4) for VH 1.1 and for the control 1.0 (standard error 0.03 for both groups); mean reduction of the intensity (on a scale 0-4) for VH 1.18 and for the control 1.8 (standard error 0.03 for both groups). In the non-inferiority analysis from all trials, VH was non-inferior in all variables. The results show the applicability of meta-analyses on the data from studies with homeopathicdrugs and support the results from the individual studies indicating good efficacy and tolerability of VH in patients with vertigo.

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    ABSTRACT: Comprehensive medical history and videonystagmography (VNG) testing play very important role in balance assessment especially when dealing with balance disorders occurring occasionally. VNG in many clinical situations is performed as an initial test before complete otoneurological examination is carried out. Betahistine dihydrochloride (betahistine) a synthetic histamine analogue is one of many drugs used in the treatment of balance disorders of central or peripheral etiology. The aim of our work was to analyze, using the VNG test, effectiveness of betahistine treatment and to compare it with the control group treated with different drugs. 42 patients suffering from vertigo were evaluated before and after the treatment with betahistine. Treatment results were compared with the results of 20 vertigo sufferers treated during the same period of time with different drugs. In effort to standardize asked questions, interviews with patients were completed with specially structured questionnaire. In 54% of patients, decreased intensity and severity of vegetative symptoms was observed after the treatment with betahistine, in 45.2% of patients (30% of the control group) decreased frequency of attacks was noted. In 69.1% of patients treated with betahistine and in 50% of the control group improved results of the VNG test were noted. In 9.5% of patients (4 patients) treated with betahistine and in 20% of patients from the control group, the VNG test results were worse. Quantitative and qualitative features of the VNG test were best improved in parts of the test showing features of its central origin. In 50% of patients improvement of the symmetry in Optokinetic testing, decrease or stop of vertical component of positional nystagmus was noted. In 38.1% of patients decrease of directional predominance of nystagmus in Caloric Testing was noted. None of all examined patients exhibited features of worsening of VNG test results and no new symptoms were noted. Radiological investigations showed no new pathologies. Betahistine dichloride is one of the basic drugs used in the treatment of vertigo of different etiology.
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