Randomised Controlled Trials

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) regards randomised controlled trials (RCTs) as the most rigorous method for determining the cause-effect relationship between treatment and outcome, and for assessing cost-effectiveness *.

Researchers in the field are unconvinced RCTs are the best tool for testing homeopathy’s power.  Yet four of five major systematic reviews (analysing the balance of evidence from homeopathy RCTs) are still positive.  These reviews were rigorous scientific investigations in their own right.

A small selection of the RCTs subjected to scrutiny in the reviews is presented in summary below.  (Just to clarify, in double-blind trials neither researchers nor participants know which care each patient is given.)


In one double-blind trial, published in 1998, researchers found that homeopathy provided a level of pain relief superior to the commonly prescribed pain relieving drug Acetaminophen in osteoarthritis sufferers.  A further advantage was no adverse reactions *.


In a double-blind trial published in 2009, researchers concluded that homeopathy is just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) for those suffering from acute moderate-severe depression *.


treeA study published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 1997 concluded that homeopathy should be the first line therapy for acute otitis media in children.

Of 103 suffering from acute ear infections and prescribed for homeopathically, only 5 needed antibiotics.

Pain relief was faster than with drugs during the initial infection, and recurring infections fewer over the following year than for those undergoing conventional treatment *.