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A survey of the use of over-the-counter homeopathic medicines purchased in health stores in central Manchester
Received18 February 2002
revised11 June 2002
accepted08 July 2002
28 December 2017 (online)
Background: There is little research on the use of over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic medicines.
Objectives: To obtain data on conditions treated by OTC homeopathy; perceived effectiveness; how long respondents had used OTC homeopathy; if respondents combined them with prescription drugs; reasons for using OTC homeopathy.
Methods: 75 users of OTC homeopathy completed questionnaires while purchasing OTC homeopathic remedies in three health food shops in central Manchester.
Results: The most frequently treated conditions were respiratory, mental/psychological and bruises/injuries. Respondents perceived OTC homeopathy to be effective for relieving these conditions. There was a trend for respondent's first using OTC homeopathy 4 or more years previously. Thirteen per cent combined it prescription drugs. The most strongly endorsed reasons for using OTC homeopathy were that was a natural treatment and was perceived as harmless.
Conclusions: This study and possible future larger scale studies may show which conditions/ailments are being treated by OTC homeopathy and the reasons why people choose to use it. Such information may lead to further integration within the NHS.
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