There’s interest in homeopathy’s potential as a non-pharmacological treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Here are both allopathic and homeopathic perspectives of the evidence.

A Cochrane Library review of the data from 4 studies reported there were no significant treatment effects for the global symptoms, core symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity, or related outcomes such as anxiety in ADHD.

The authors concluded, “There is currently little evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy for the treatment of ADHD.”

Earlier this year Professor Ernst and colleagues from the Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter in the UK reviewed studies of homeopathic treatments for ADHA and concluded, “The evidence for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ? is mixed, showing both positive and negative results.”

But let’s look at this from a homeopathic perspective.

Researchers representing the Swiss Association of Homeopathic Physicians in Lucerne, Switzerland reported the results of the Swiss ADHD trial.

  • During the screening phase children were treated with different homeopathic preparations (up to 9) until improvement was achieved.
  • 84% (70/83) of the children responded and were eligible for continued study.
  • Although there was a significant response to homeopathic treatment, transferring these patients to placebo resulted in a strong carryover effect from previous treatment, which diminished the apparent difference between placebo and homeopathic treatment.

These researchers conclude, “Because of the necessity of identifying an optimal medication before response to treatment can be expected, randomization at the start of treatment in a [clinical study] of homeopathy in ADHD children has a high risk of failure to demonstrate a specific treatment effect, if the observation time is shorter than 12 months.”

The bottom line?
I guess that means it’s not likely that homeopathy can prove its worth for the treatment of ADHD using widely accepted scientific methods.

10/20/07 20:07 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.