Antibiotics and the development of resistant microorganisms. Can homeopathy be an alternative?

Homeopathy. 2003 Apr;92(2):99-107. doi: 10.1016/s1475-4916(03)00016-x.


Antibiotic resistance is a global public health problem. Once confined primarily to hospitals it is now increasingly common in primary care. The prevalence of resistant bacteria is rising, and organisms resistant to almost all antibiotics have been identified. The main causes are indiscriminate prescribing and the use of antibiotics in animal feeds and other agricultural applications. Policies to restrict use of antibiotics have had limited success. Homeopathy may have a role to play in combating the development of antibiotic resistance. Clinical research suggests that homeopathy is effective in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in children, a frequent cause of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. The EU recommends the use of homeopathy in organic animal husbandry, and it is used by significant numbers of farmers. At present there is little data on the effectiveness of homeopathy in this setting. Further research should be done.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crops, Agricultural / adverse effects
  • Crops, Agricultural / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Homeopathy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Materia Medica / standards*
  • Materia Medica / therapeutic use*
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / microbiology
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology


  • Materia Medica