A new survey finds that homeopathic medicines are primarily used by a small segment of the U.S. population for common, self-limited conditions such as the common cold or back pain. The report published in the American Journal of Public Health also finds that homeopathy users, particularly those who also report visiting homeopathic practitioners, find the use of these products helpful and that they tend to use a greater variety of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) modalities than do users of supplements and other CIMs. This is the first detailed report on the use of homeopathy in this country.
“The information provided by this survey is important to regulatory officials at the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), both of which have inquired about the public use and perception of these products,” says Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH, of the Benson-Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, lead and corresponding author of the paper. “Since most people purchase these products over the counter without physician guidance, it is reassuring to see that most use them for non-serious, self-limited conditions.”