The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Testing Nervoheel N to treat mild nervous disorders

    Nervoheel N is a homeopathic preparation used to treat psychosomatic disorders, climacteric neurosis, and emotional distress

    In this study, it’s reported to be as effective as lorazepam (Ativan).

    First, the details.

    • 248 patients with insomnia, distress, anxieties, restlessness or burnout and similar nervous conditions (?mild nervous disorders?) were treated with Nervoheel N or lorazepam at recommended doses for up to 4 weeks.
    • Dose variations were allowed if in the patient’s best interest.
    • Treatment effects were evaluated by the practitioner in dialogue with the patient at the start of treatment, after 2 weeks and after maximally 4 weeks.
    • There was no attempt to randomly assign patients to treatment or conceal the treatment given.

    And, the results.

    • Both treatment groups reported significant symptomatic improvements.
    • Differences between the groups were not significant.
    • Both treatments were well tolerated, with few adverse events and good self-assessed tolerability.

    The bottom line?
    The authors conclude, “In patients who opt for a homeopathic treatment regimen for the short-term relief of mild nervous disorders, the effects of Nervoheel N are non-inferior to those of lorazepam.”

    But wait.

    Ativan is FDA-approved only for the management of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms. It is not approved to treat insomnia, distress, restlessness, or burnout and similar “nervous conditions.”

    Was this a fair comparison?

    The study is open to additional criticism.

    • Broad, poorly defined conditions were treated.
    • Lack or random assignment of treatment
    • No blinding of the patients or doctors to the treatment
    • Lack of independent assessment of outcomes.

    Except for the last criticism, this study could have been better for little if any increase in cost.

    11/23/07 20:23 JR

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