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Another Headache for Homeopathy

Bandolier 45 featured the results of a large meta-analysis on homeopathy - with results at best described as mediocre, and pointing out that high quality trials did poorly. A new trial, of exquisite design comes up with a barn door negative for homeopathy.


The study will make a delightful read for trial design aficionados. Briefly after agreement on homeopathic treatment by six practitioners, patients with regular long-standing headaches had homeopathic remedy or placebo dispensed from a notary public who held the randomisation schedule and mailed out the treatments. Reporting was to a study secretariat unconnected with the patients. All steps to maintain randomness and blindness that could be taken were taken.


Though headache frequency declined in all patients, there was no difference between homeopathy and placebo on any measure. Chalk another one to solid trial design.


  1. H Walach, W Haeusler, T Lowes et al. Classical homeopathic treatment of chronic headaches. Cephalalgia 1997 17: 119-26.

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