Homeopathic Drugs

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Question

What is a homeopathic drug and are homeopathic drugs safe?

Answer

Homeopathy is derived from the Greek words homeo (similar) and pathos (suffering or disease). The reasoning for homeopathic drugs is that disease symptoms can be cured by small doses of substances that produce similar results in healthy people. This way of treatment is not often used by many physicians since the remedies are so diluted to the point where no molecules of the active ingredient remain. Homeopathic drugs are thought to work by keeping a memory of the active ingredients. A list of drugs can be found in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). The HPUS gives a guideline in how to prepare homeopathic remedies. It was written into law in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938.

Homeopathic drug safety

Regulation of homeopathic drugs is the same as nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Since the homeopathic products have little or no active ingredients, they do not have to undergo the same safety and efficacy testing as prescription and new OTC drugs. Although homeopathic drugs do not undergo safety and efficacy testing, the FDA does require that they meet certain legal standards for strength, purity, and packaging. Homeopathic drugs are not known to interact with conventional drugs but if you do decide to use them, you should discuss with your health provider first.

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