Background: Among the post-immunization adverse events, especially of Diphtheria-Pertusis-Tetanus (DPT), fever is a common systemic reaction. There is anecdotal support for the use of the homeopathic medicine Arsenicum album in preventing post-vaccination fever. The investigators intended to evaluate its efficacy in preventing febrile episodes following vaccination.
Methods: In the community medicine out-patient of Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal, India, between August 2014 and January 2017, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 120 children (verum: 60, placebo: 60) who presented for the 2nd and 3rd dose of DPT-HepB-Polio vaccination and reported febrile episodes following the 1st dose. Intervention used was Arsenicum album 30cH 6 doses or placebo (indistinguishable from verum), thrice daily for two subsequent days. Parents were advised to report any event of febrile attacks within 48h of vaccination, either directly or over telephone.
Results: The groups were comparable at baseline. Children reporting fever after the 2nd dose was 29.8% and 30.4% respectively for the homeopathy group and control group respectively [Relative Risk (RR)=1.008] with no significant difference (P=0.951) between groups. Again after the 3rd dose, children reporting fever were 31.5% and 28.3% respectively for the homeopathy group and control group respectively (RR=0.956) with no significant difference (P=0.719) between groups.
Conclusion: Empirically selected Arsenicum album 30cH could not produce differentiable effect from placebo in preventing febrile episodes following DPT-HepB-Polio vaccination. [Trial registration: CTRI/2017/02/007939].
Keywords: Arsenicum album; Efficacy; Fever; Homeopathy; Vaccination.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.