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A 31-year-old member asked:

Can homeopathy bring additional benefits to thalassemic patients on hydrea (hydroxyurea)?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
No: Truly homeopathic "medications" are made by repeated dilutions, so that the ingredient is not really in the medication anymore (just the "essence" of it remains). That means there is no active ingredient left to cause any benefit. However, that also implies that the homeopathic "medicine" should be pretty harmless, unless some other non-homeopathic ingredients were added.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
This paper might be of interest to you: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816384/ Best wishes.
Sep 14, 2013
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok commented
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Provided original answer
Just looked at the above mentioned article, which added some homeopathic treatment to a few patients already on medical therapy and transfusions. There were only 38 people in the study (and there were 2 varieties of thalassemia among them). With such small numbers of people, plus some other uncertainties in the study, can't really tell anything from the study results.
Sep 14, 2013
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
Thanks, Dr. Kwok. Yes it's a small study. Lots of work to do -- yet, it's a start.
Sep 15, 2013
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
Yes, actually: This is an area of active study -- and so far has positive results. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2816384/ in this publication, 38 thalassemic patients on Hydroxyurea therapy were given individualized homeopathic remedies. There was a significant decrease in the serum ferritin, and an increase in fetal hemoglobin levels in the combined, treated subjects. Splenomegaly decreased too.

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