Background: Gastrointestinal spasms and cramps are common in children as well as in adults. Alternative medical practices such as chiropractice and homeopathy are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and the USA. The effectiveness and tolerability of the homeopathic preparation Spascupreel was compared with that of hyoscine butylbromide treatment in children <12 years of age.
Methods: An observational cohort study in 204 children <12 years was conducted over a 1 week treatment period. The efficacy of the respective therapies were evaluated on the effect on severity of spasms and clinical symptoms (pain/cramps, sleep disturbances, distress, eating or drinking difficulties and frequent crying). Compliance was evaluated on a four-point scale from 'very good' to 'low'. Evaluation was done by the practitioner based on information given by the patient or minder.
Results: The analysis showed comparative improvements with the homeopathic preparation and hyoscine butylbromide therapy on severity of spasms, pain/cramps, sleep disturbances, eating or drinking difficulties, and frequent crying, all as evaluated by the practitioner. Both treatments were very well tolerated.
Conclusions: For patients opting for a homeopathic therapy, Spascupreel seems to be an effective and well tolerated alternative to conventional therapies in children suffering from gastrointestinal spasms.