Objective. Acute diarrhea is the leading cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality worldwide. Oral rehydration treatment can prevent death from dehydration, but does not reduce the duration of individual episodes. Homeopathic treatment for acute diarrhea is used in many parts of the world. This study was performed to determine whether homeopathy is useful in the treatment of acute childhood diarrhea.
Methodology. A randomized double-blind clinical trial comparing homeopathic medicine with placebo in the treatment of acute childhood diarrhea was conducted in León, Nicaragua, in July 1991. Eighty-one children aged 6 months to 5 years of age were included in the study. An individualized homeopathic medicine was prescribed for each child and daily follow-up was performed for 5 days. Standard treatment with oral rehydration treatment was also given.
Results. The treatment group had a statistically significant (P < .05) decrease in duration of diarrhea, defined as the number of days until there were less than three unformed stools daily for 2 consecutive days. There was also a significant difference (P < .05) in the number of stools per day between the two groups after 72 hours of treatment.
Conclusions. The statistically significant decrease in the duration of diarrhea in the treatment group suggests that homeopathic treatment might be useful in acute childhood diarrhea. Further study of this treatment deserves consideration.
- Received December 22, 1992.
- Accepted October 25, 1993.
- Copyright © 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics