Abstract: Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 Jan 20 [Epub ahead of print]

Bell IR, Lewis II DA, Brooks AJ, Schwartz GE, Lewis SE, Walsh BT, Baldwin CM.

Program in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA; Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA; Department of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA; Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA; The Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of individualized classical homeopathy in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

METHODS: This study was a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial of homeopathy. Community-recruited persons (N = 62) with physician-confirmed fibromyalgia (mean age 49 yr, s.d. 10 yr, 94% women) were treated in a homeopathic private practice setting.

Participants were randomized to receive oral daily liquid LM (1/50 000) potencies with an individually chosen homeopathic remedy or an indistinguishable placebo. Homeopathic visits involved joint interviews and concurrence on remedy selection by two experienced homeopaths, at baseline, 2 months and 4 months (prior to a subsequent optional crossover phase of the study which is reported elsewhere).

Tender point count and tender point pain on examination by a medical assessor uninvolved in providing care, self-rating scales on fibromyalgia-related quality of life, pain, mood and global health at baseline and 3 months, were the primary clinical outcome measures for this report.

RESULTS: Fifty-three people completed the treatment protocol. Participants on active treatment showed significantly greater improvements in tender point count and tender point pain, quality of life, global health and a trend toward less depression compared with those on placebo.

CONCLUSIONS: This study replicates and extends a previous 1-month placebo-controlled crossover study in fibromyalgia that pre-screened for only one homeopathic remedy. Using a broad selection of remedies and the flexible LM dose (1/50 000 dilution factor) series, the present study demonstrated that individualized homeopathy is significantly better than placebo in lessening tender point pain and improving the quality of life and global health of persons with fibromyalgia.

PMID: 14734789 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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