A Narrative Review on Research Evidence of Homoeopathic Treatment in Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
Background: In many developing countries, upper respiratory tract infections are a major public health issue, and the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children and adults. Thus, the purpose of our narrative review was to assess the efficacy of homoeopathic medicines in upper respiratory tract infections.
Methodology: A comprehensive computerized literature search was carried out to find clinical research articles. PubMed, Cochrane, Wiley, Google Scholar, Research Gate, Medline, Science Direct, and the Thieme -E-journal of homoeopathy were searched and relevant articles were used for reviewing purposes. This review only included clinical trials that involved humans. Pilot studies, animal experiments, and article abstracts were excluded. There were complete research articles. All prospective observational clinical research articles that were randomised, double-blind, and placebo-controlled were
Results: Sixty articles were found in a preliminary search. Total 43 research articles were studied for the review. Irrelevant and duplicated articles were removed. Total 24 articles were selected for the narrative review. 3 articles were found about acute respiratory tract infections and 21 articles were about upper respiratory tract infection. All the studies were very diverse in the methodology, type of homoeopathy used and outcome measurement. Different types of homoeopathy in terms of individualised, complex syrup and home medication were used in studies. Fourteen studies reported the role of homoeopathy in reducing the severity of symptoms, efficacy beyond placebo, superiority or non-inferiority over conventional medications, in lowering the consumption of antibiotics and as prophylaxis. On the other hand, three studies found little or no effect in reducing symptoms or number of visits.
Conclusion: This systematic review concluded that homeopathic medicines are safe and effective in acute and upper respiratory tract infections. But more randomized placebo controlled studies should be conducted to strengthen the available evidence.
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