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Schwabe News Volume 4 | Issue 2 | February 2013

Research news

Management of influenza-like illness by homoeopathic and allopathic general practitioners in France during the 2009-2010 influenza season

This study was done to determine characteristics and management of patients in France visiting allopathic general practitioners and homoeopathic general practitioners for influenza-like illness (ILI). This was a prospective observational study, which was conducted in metropolitan France during the 2009-2010 influenza season. There were sixty-five homoeopathic general practitioners and 124 allopathic general practitioners who had recruited a total of 461 patients with ILI. Patients were treated for ILI by their general practitioners. General practitioners and patients completed questionnaires recording demographic characteristics and patient symptoms when patients were included in the study. Patients reported satisfaction with treatment on day 4. Prescriptions were recorded by the general practitioners. Outcome measures were patient characteristics, demographics, and symptoms at baseline; medications prescribed by type of physician; and satisfaction with treatment by type of physician and medication.

According to the results, most allopathic general practitioners (86%), and most patients visiting them (58%) were men; whereas most homoeopathic general practitioners (57%; p<0.0001), and most patients visiting them (56%; p=0.006) were women. Patients visiting allopathic general practitioners were seen sooner after the appearance of symptoms, and they self-treated more frequently with cough suppressants or expectorants (p=0.0018). Patients visiting homoeopathic general practitioners were seen later after the appearance of symptoms and they self-treated with homoeopathic medications more frequently (p<0.0001). At enrollment, headaches (p=0.025), cough (p=0.01), muscle/joint pain (p=0.049), chills/shivering (p<0.001), and nasal discharge/congestion (p=0.002) were more common in patients visiting allopathic general practitioners. Of these patients, 37.1% visiting allopathic general practitioners were prescribed at least one homoeopathic medication, and 59.6% of patients visiting homoeopathic general practitioners were prescribed at least one allopathic medication. Patient satisfaction with treatment did not differ between allopathic general practitioners and homoeopathic general practitioners but was highest for patients treated with homoeopathic medications only. The results have lead the researchers to conclude that in France, homoeopathy is widely accepted for the treatment of ILI. Even it does not preclude the use of allopathic medications, patients treated with homoeopathic medications only are more satisfied with their treatment than other patients.

Reference:
  • Vincent S, Demonceaux A, Deswarte D, Scimeca D, Bordet MF., Management of influenza-like illness by homeopathic and allopathic general practitioners in france during the 2009-2010 influenza season, J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Feb;19(2):146-52. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0706. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

 

H3N2 homoeopathic influenza virus solution modifies cellular and biochemical aspects of MDCK and J774G8 cell lines

Influenza viruses cause highly contagious acute respiratory illnesses with significant mortality, especially among young children, elderly people, and individuals with serious medical conditions. This encourages the development of new treatments for human flu. Biotherapies are diluted solutions prepared from biological products compounded following homoeopathic procedures. This study was aimed to develop a biotherapy prepared from the infectious influenza A virus (A/Aichi/2/68 H3N2) and to verify its in vitro response.

The methodology included was preparation of the ultradiluted influenza virus solution in the homoeopathic dilution 30x, which was termed Influenzinum RC. The cellular alterations induced by this preparation were analyzed by optical and electron microscopy, MTT and neutral red assays. Glycolytic metabolism (PFK-1) was studied by spectrophotometric assay. Additionally, the production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) by J774.G8 macrophage cells was quantified by ELISA before and after infection with H3N2 influenza virus and treatment.

The results showed that Influenzinum RC did not cause cytotoxic effects but induced morphological alterations in Madin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. After 30 days, a significant increase (p < 0.05) in mitosis rate was detected compared to control. MDCK mitochondrial activity was changed after treatment for 10 and 30 days. Treatment significantly diminished (p < 0.05) PFK-1 activity. TNF-α in biotherapy-stimulated J774.G8 macrophages indicated a significant (p < 0.05) increase in this cytokine when the cell supernatant was analyzed.

The authors have concluded that the Influenzinum RC altered cellular and biochemical features of MDCK and J774G8 cells.

Influenzinum is available from Schwabe India from 30CH to CM. Many physicians like to use Alpha-WD or Echinacea angustifolia 1x tablets simultaneously as immune stimulant.

Reference:
  • Camila Monteiro Siqueira, Beatriz Costa, Ana Maria Amorim, Marta Gonçalves, Venício Féo da Veiga, Morgana Castelo-Branco, Christina Takyia, Patrícia Zancan, Fernando Portela Câmara, José Nelson Couceiro, Carla Holandino, H3N2 homeopathic influenza virus solution modifies cellular and biochemical aspects of MDCK and J774G8 cell lines, Homeopathy, Volume 102, Issue 1 , Pages 31-40, January 2013

 

Characteristics associated with use of homoeopathic drugs for psychiatric symptoms in the general population

This interesting study was conducted with the objective to explore which patient characteristics are associated in naturalistic conditions with the lifetime use of homoeopathic treatment for psychiatric symptoms.

Lifetime use of psychotropic treatment was explored in a sample of 36,785 persons, participating in the Mental Health Survey in the General Population. Characteristics associated with use of homoeopathic treatments, associated or not with conventional psychotropic drugs, were explored using multivariate analyses.

According to the results, use of homoeopathic treatment for psychiatric symptoms was reported by 1.3% of persons. Younger age, female gender and high educational level were associated with use of homoeopathy. Half of homoeopathy users presented at least one Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) diagnosis, most frequently anxiety disorders. Their diagnostic profile was similar to that of persons reporting use of anxiolytics or hypnotics. Compared to persons with no lifetime use of psychotropic drugs, persons using homoeopathy were more likely to present with a diagnosis of mood disorder or anxiety disorder. Compared to those using conventional psychotropic drugs, they presented less frequently with psychiatric disorders, with the exception of anxiety disorders.

At the end of the study, it was concluded that the homoeopathic treatment for psychiatric symptoms appears to be used mainly to reduce anxiety symptoms in the general population.

Schwabe India’s Alpha-TS has been used for tension, stress, anxiety, etc. since decades.

Reference:
  • Grolleau A, Bégaud B, Verdoux H., Characteristics associated with use of homeopathic drugs for psychiatric symptoms in the general population, Eur Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;28(2):110-6. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.10.005. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

 

Sepia 200CH at 1:1000 dilution ameliorates salt stress in cowpea seedlings but its medium 90% ethanol proves ineffective at the same dilution

Soil salinity severely affects crop yield all over the world. In a recent study the authors have observed that Natrum muriaticum 200CH, a homoeopathic remedy, improved growth in germinating cowpea seeds. In the present study they have tested another remedy Sepia, which is complementary to Natrum mur, on cowpea seedlings under salt stress.

Methodology used may be of interest to research workers. Cowpea seedlings grown over moist filter paper in petridishes were divided into 4 groups: (1) control in sterile water, (2) in 50mM NaCl solution, (3) seeds pretreated with 90% ethanol diluted with water 1:100 and then transferred to 50mM NaCl solution, (4) seeds pretreated with Sepia 200CH diluted with water 1:100 and transferred to 50mM NaCl solution. In another experiment the groups were same, but the dilution of 90% ethanol and Sepia 200CH was 1:1000 instead of 1:100. The purpose was to further reduce the ethanol content in both the drug and its vehicle 90% ethanol, so that the alcohol effect is minimized or abolished. The data were analysed by ANOVA followed by t-test. Sepia 200CH at both 1:100 and 1:1000 dilutions significantly increased growth, sugar, chlorophyll, protein and water content in seedlings as compared to the untreated salt-stressed group. The effect with the1000th dilution of Sepia 200CH was more pronounced than with its 100th dilution. The vehicle 90% ethanol at 1:100 dilution produced some positive effect on the seedlings, but the 1000th dilution of the vehicle produced no such effect. It is, therefore, concluded that Sepia 200CH could ameliorate salt stress in cowpea seedlings and that the 1000th dilution is more effective than its 100th dilution. The alcohol effect is totally eliminated with the 1000th dilution of 90% ethanol. Thus the 1000th dilution could retain the drug effect and eliminate the vehicle effect.

Sepia is available from Schwabe India from 6CH to CM and also in LM potencies of 0/1 to 0/30.

Reference:
  • Soma Sukul (nee Chunari), Sandhimita Mondal, Nirmal C Sukul, Sepia 200CH at 1:1000 dilution ameliorates salt stress in cowpea seedlings but its medium 90% ethanol proves ineffective at the same dilution, International Journal of High Dilution Research, Vol 11, No 41 (2012)

 

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