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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Treating hot flushes in menopausal women with homeopathic treatment

    The results are positive, but the study is bad for homeopathy.


    First, the details.

    • 99 physicians in 8 countries took part in a study of 438 patients with an average age of 55.
      • That’s about 4 to 5 patents per doctor.
    • Treatments included Lachesis mutus, Belladonna, Sepia officinalis, sulphur, and Sanguinaria canadensis.
    • All patients received homeopathic treatment except for 5% given a non-homeopathic treatment and/or a food supplement.

    And, the results.

    • There was a significant reduction in the frequency of hot flushes.
    • And a significant reduction in the daily discomfort they caused.
    • 90% of the women reported disappearance or lessening of their symptoms, mostly within 15 days of starting homeopathic treatment.

    The bottom line?
    If the authors’ intent was to preach to the choir, the study achieved its objective.

    For anyone with reservations about the value of homeopathy, it’s just another flawed study that confirms the negative.

    Why? Basic study design.

    • Multicenter studies where researchers recruit just a few patients each are prone to problems in adherence to the protocol.
    • Doctors who report their success with treatment tend to overestimate the positive.
    • When patients report treatment outcomes to their doctor they tend to overestimate the results
      • They don’t want to be too critical of their doctor and don’t want to admit that their choice of doctor might be wrong.
    • Lip service is given to having a control (untreated) group to compare the results to.
      • Comparing the response in 22 (5%) women to more than 400 who got a homeopathic remedy is not a sufficient.

    Would it be so hard to do a good study?

    1/12/08 10:04JR

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