Homeopathic Traumeel S to treat pain after bunion surgery?

Researchers from Israel studied the effectiveness of this frequently prescribed  over-the-counter homeopathic product composed of extracts from a combination of plants and minerals.

It is widely sold in German, Switzerland, and Austria.

First, the details.

  • 80 patients scheduled for ambulatory hallus valgus (bunion) surgery were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Traumeel S: 2 tablets 5 times daily for the first 3 days, and 3 times daily afterwards
    • Placebo: Taken following the same dosing regimen as the Traumeel S
  • All patients took tablets of paracetamol (acetaminophen) 325 mg + codeine 15 mg 2 tablets up to 6 times daily as their main pain medicine. They additionally received a prescription for tramadol (Ultram) 100 mg tablets as “rescue” pain medicine to take as needed, up to 4 tablets a day.
  • Changes in maximum daily pain at rest were measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS) that was filled out on the day of surgery and for 13 days thereafter.
  • In addition, the use of pain medicine, including the number of days where analgesics were needed was recorded.
  • Side effects were monitored throughout the study.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • There was no difference in pain or consumption of pain medicine between the Traumeel S and placebo groups over the 14 days of the study.
  • There was a significant but transient reduction in the daily maximum post-operative pain score favoring Traumeel S on the day of surgery.

The bottom line?

Regarding the significant finding, the authors questioned whether “a transient reduction in the daily maximum post-operative pain score on the day of surgery is of questionable clinical importance.” However, they recommend that any future studies be confined to the time immediate following surgery.

The results here fail to support the positive outcome in an earlier study where a single injection of Traumeel or Traumeel injection + oral Traumeel was compared to a control group following ambulatory surgery.

4/19/10 13:54 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 www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.