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No evidence for homeopathic prophylaxis for migraine


The idea behind homeopathy is that the almost infinite dilution of a substance that causes a symptom will produce something with none of the original material remaining, but which can cure the symptom. Does this work for headaches and migraine? A systematic review of methodologically strong trials suggests that it does not [1].

Search


This was extensive, and used not only electronic searching of several databases, but hand searching of specialist journals and use of specialist databases. Four randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies comparing homeopathic remedies with placebo were found.

Results


The three studies with the strongest methods showed no difference between homeopathy and placebo. One methodologically weak study did show a difference, and some de-blinding was reported to have been possible.

Comment


Bandolier visited the strongest of these trials before ( Bandolier 46 ) and praised it. It is known that trials of poor reporting quality (as in the one positive study) can produce exaggerated treatment effects. What we have is this - that there is no evidence that homeopathy has any benefit for preventing migraine or headaches.

Reference:

  1. E Ernst. Homeopathic prophylaxis of headaches and migraine? A systematic review. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 1999 18: 353-7.
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