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Efficacy of Individualized Homeopathic Medicines in Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled TrialFunding Statement This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Background Acne is estimated to affect 9.4% of the global population, making it the 8th most prevalent disease worldwide. Acne vulgaris (AV) is among the diseases that directly affect quality of life. This trial evaluated the efficacy of individualized homeopathic medicines (IHM) against placebo in AV.
Methods In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted at the National Institute of Homoeopathy, India, 126 patients suffering from AV were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either IHM (verum) in centesimal potencies or identical-looking placebo (control). The primary outcome measure was the Global Acne Grading System score; secondary outcomes were the Cardiff Acne Disability Index and Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaires — all measured at baseline and 3 months after the intervention. Group differences and effect sizes (Cohen's d) were calculated on the intention-to-treat sample.
Results Overall, improvements were greater in the IHM group than placebo, with small to medium effect sizes after 3 months of intervention; however, the inter-group differences were statistically non-significant. Sulphur (17.5%), Natrum muriaticum (15.1%), Calcarea phosphorica (14.3%), Pulsatilla nigricans (10.3%), and Antimonium crudum (7.1%) were the most frequently prescribed medicines; Pulsatilla nigricans, Tuberculinum bovinum and Natrum muriaticum were the most effective of those used. No harms, unintended effects, homeopathic aggravations or any serious adverse events were reported from either group.
Conclusion There was non-significant direction of effect favoring homeopathy against placebo in the treatment of AV.
Trial Registration CTRI/2018/11/016248; UTN: U1111–1221–8164.
S.R., G.N.G. and Subhas Singh contributed to concept development, literature search, the clinical study, data acquisition, data interpretation, and preparation of the article; J.M., P.M., B.G., Suman Singh, A.P., M.T. and Satarupa Sadhukhan contributed to the clinical study and data acquisition; M.K. and Subhranil Saha contributed to the design, data interpretation, statistical analysis, and preparation of the article. All the authors reviewed and approved the final article. The trial protocol (synopsis) and full project report (dissertation) were submitted as the postgraduate synopsis and dissertation respectively of the corresponding author to the West Bengal University of Health Sciences.
Received: 11 June 2021
Accepted: 26 August 2021
Article published online:
17 March 2022
© 2022. Faculty of Homeopathy. This article is published by Thieme.
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