Homeopathic vs conventional treatment of otitis media

Researchers at the Regional Research Institute of Homeopathy, Jin aipur (Rajasthan), India, studied patients with acute otitis media.

First, the details.

  • 81 patients were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Individualized homeopathic medicines in 50 millesimal (LM) potencies
    • Conventional treatment including analgesics, antipyretics, and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Patients who did not improve were prescribed antibiotics on the 3rd day.
  • Response to treatment was assessed using the Acute Otitis Media-Severity of Symptoms (AOM-SOS) Scale and tympanic membrane examination over 21 days.

And, the results.

  • With conventional treatment, all patients were cured.
  • 95% patients treated homeopathically were cured while the other 5% failed to complete the study.
  • By the 3rd day of treatment, 4 patients were cured in the homeopathy group vs 1 patient treated with conventionally.
  • In the conventional treatment group antibiotics were prescribed in 98% of patients vs no antibiotics in the homeopathy group.
  • 85% of patients were prescribed 6 homeopathic medicines.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Individualized homeopathy is an effective conventional treatment in acute otitis media, there were no significant differences between groups in the main outcome. Symptomatic improvement was quicker in the Homeopathy group, and there was a large difference in antibiotic requirements, favoring homeopathy.

In allopathic medicine, options for treating acute otitis media are immediate antibiotics or watchful waiting for children younger than 2 years of age.

In a recent report, among children 6 to 23 months of age with acute otitis media, treatment with amoxicillin–clavulanate (Augmentin) for 10 days tended to reduce the time to resolution of symptoms and reduced the overall symptom burden and the rate of persistent signs of acute infection on otoscopic examination.

However, guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatricians suggest taking a wait and see approach for the first 72 hours.

It’s a hard sell to parents, but most ear infections clear on their own. A recent review of the scientific literature found that the symptoms of otitis media resolved in two thirds of children by 24 hours and in 80% of children at 2 to 7 days. The study summarized above does not show homeopathic treatment to be superior to watchful waiting based on these criteria.

1/11/12 22:53 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.