An overview of two Cochrane systematic reviews of complementary treatments for chronic asthma: acupuncture and homeopathy.
ABSTRACT Acupuncture and homeopathy are commonly used complementary treatments for chronic asthma. This review summarizes two recently updated Cochrane systematic reviews that assess the safety and efficacy of homeopathy or acupuncture in individuals with chronic stable asthma.
Only randomized-controlled trials were considered for inclusion. Statistical aggregation of the data was undertaken where possible.
Searches for both reviews were done with the assistance of the Cochrane Airways Group, and through electronic alerts.
ACUPUNCTURE: 11 studies with 324 participants met the inclusion criteria. Trial reporting was poor, and the trial quality was deemed inadequate to generalize the findings. There was variation in the type of active and sham acupunctures, the outcomes assessed and the time points measured. The points used in the sham arm of some studies are used for the treatment of asthma according to traditional Chinese medicine. Two studies used individualized treatment strategies, and one study used a combination strategy of formula acupuncture with the addition of individualized points. No statistically significant or clinically relevant effects were found for acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture. When data from two small studies were pooled, no difference in lung function was observed (post-treatment FEV1): standardized mean difference 0.12, 95% confidence interval 0.31 to 0.55).
ACUPUNCTURE: There is not enough evidence to recommend the use of acupuncture in the treatment of asthma. Further research needs to be undertaken, and this should take into account the different types of acupuncture practiced.
HOMEOPATHY: Six trials with a total of 556 people were included in the review. These trials were all placebo-controlled and double-blind, but were of variable quality. Standardized treatments in these trials are unlikely to represent common homeopathic practice where treatment tends to be individualized. The results of the studies are conflicting in terms of effects on lung function. There has been only a limited attempt to measure a "package of care" effect (i.e. the effect of the medication as well as the consultation, which is considered a vital part of individualized homeopathic practice).
HOMEOPATHY: There is not enough evidence to reliably assess the possible role of homeopathy in the treatment of asthma. Further studies could assess whether individuals respond to a "package of care" rather than the homeopathic intervention alone.
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ABSTRACT: Pharmacopuncture, the injection of subclinical doses of drugs into acupoints reduces drug undesirable side effects, residues in animal consumption products and treatment costs in large animals. Acepromazine (Acp) produces several undesirable effects, such as hypotension. Previous studies with the injection of 1/10 of Acp dose in dog acupoints showed its advantage for sedation, minimizing undesirable effects. Eight horses were randomly submitted to four different treatment protocols according to a Latin Square double-blind design: (i) 0.1 ml kg(-1) of saline subcutaneously injected at the cervical region, (ii) 0.1 mg kg(-1) of Acp injected subcutaneously at the cervical region, (iii) 0.01 ml kg(-1) of saline injected into GV1 acupoint (aquapuncture) and (iv) 0.01 mg kg(-1) of Acp injected into GV1 acupoint (pharmacopuncture). Heart rate, respiratory rate, head height and degree of sedation were measured before and at 30, 60 and 90 min after treatments. Signs of sedation were observed in all treated groups at 30 min and only in 1/10Acp-GV1 at 60 min after the treatments. Only the group treated with 0.1 mg kg(-1) of Acp s.c. had significantly lower values of head height at 30 min. Respiratory rate tended to reduce in all groups but was significantly lower only in horses treated with 0.1 mg kg(-1) of Acp s.c. Heart rate remained unchanged in all groups. Acp-pharmacopuncture on GV1 in horses produced a mild sedation when compared with the conventional dose of Acp. More investigations are necessary to determine the optimal dosage of Acp-pharmacopuncture for sedation in horses.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 10/2008; 5(3):267-72. · 4.77 Impact Factor
Article: Cancer patients treated with the Banerji protocols utilising homoeopathic medicine: a Best Case Series Program of the National Cancer Institute USA.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although many studies have been conducted on the role of alternative medicine in the treatment of cancer, only a few reports have been published regarding the total regression of malignant tumors. At the PBH Research Foundation (PBHRF), two of the authors have used homoeopathic therapy to treat many patients with various malignant tumors. The objective of the present study was to have their treatment procedures evaluated and validated by the United States (US) National Cancer Institute (NCI) Best Case Series (BCS) Program. Lung and oesophageal carcinoma patients were treated with homoeopathic remedies at the PBHRF according to Banerji's protocol until there was complete regression of the tumors. Case records including pathology and radiology reports for 14 patients were submitted for review by the US NCI BCS Program. Four of these cases had an independent confirmation of the diagnosis and radiographic response and were accepted as sufficient information for the NCI to initiate further investigation. These four cases are presented in detail in this report along with follow-up and outcome information. This study describes the process and outcome of a selected case series review through the NCI BCS Program. The results of the review were deemed to be sufficient to warrant NCI-initiated prospective research follow-up in the form of an observational study.Oncology Reports 08/2008; 20(1):69-74. · 1.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The clinical studies on the effectiveness of homeopathy in respiratory allergy (18 randomized trials and 9 observational studies) are described. The literature of common immunologic disorders including also upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and otorhinolaryngology (reported in part 1), is evaluated and discussed. Most of initial evidence-based research was addressed to the question of whether homeopathic high dilutions are placebos or possess specific effects, but this question has been often equivocal and is still a matter of debate. The evidence demonstrates that in some conditions homeopathy shows significant promise, e.g. Galphimia glauca (low dilutions/potencies) in allergic oculorhinitis, classical individualized homeopathy in otitis and possibly in asthma and allergic complaints, and a few low-potency homeopathic complexes in sinusitis and rhinoconjunctivitis. A general weakness of evidence derives from lack of independent confirmation of reported trials and from presence of conflicting results, as in case of homeopathic immunotherapy and of classical homeopathy for URTI. The suitable methods to evaluate homeopathy effectiveness, without altering the setting of cure, are also analyzed.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2007; 3(4):397-409. · 4.77 Impact Factor