Use and Safety of Anthroposophic Medicinal Products: An Analysis of 44,662 Patients from the EvaMed Pharmacovigilance Network

Drugs Real World Outcomes. 2017 Dec;4(4):199-213. doi: 10.1007/s40801-017-0118-5.


Background: There is a need for data on the clinical safety of anthroposophic medicinal products (AMPs).

Objectives: The main objective of this analysis was to determine the frequency of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to AMPs, relative to the number of AMP prescriptions.

Methods: EvaMed (Evaluation of Anthroposophic Medicine) was a prospective pharmacovigilance study with the patients of 38 physicians in outpatient care in Germany. Diagnoses and prescriptions were extracted from the electronic medical records. All physicians documented ADRs of Grades III-IV and serious ADRs, seven 'prescriber physicians' also documented non-serious ADRs of any intensity. Patients were eligible for this analysis if they had one or more AMP prescription in the years 2001-2010, followed by one or more physician visit.

Results: A total of 44,662 patients with 311,731 AMP prescriptions, comprising 1722 different AMPs, were included. One hundred ADRs to AMPs occurred, caused by 83 different AMPs. ADR intensity was mild, moderate, and severe in 50% (n = 50/100), 43%, and 7% of cases, respectively; one ADR was serious. Among patients of prescriber physicians, ADRs of any intensity occurred in 0.071% (n = 67/94,734) of AMP prescriptions and in 0.502% (n = 65/12,956) of patients prescribed AMPs. In subgroup analyses according to age, specific AMPs or AMP groups, dosage forms, and concentrations (altogether 11 groups), the highest ADR frequency was 0.290% of prescriptions (for one specific AMP). Among all patients, serious ADRs occurred in 0.0003% (n = 1/311,731) of prescriptions and 0.0022% (n = 1/44,662) of patients.

Conclusion: In this analysis from a large sample, ADRs to AMP therapy in outpatient care were rare; ADRs of high intensity as well as serious ADRs were very rare.