Research: STAM and colleagues, R

Listed in Issue 66

Abstract

STAM and colleagues, Regulatory Affairs Department, VSM Geneesmiddelen bv, Alkmaar, The Netherlands compared the efficacy and tolerability of the homeopathic gel Spiroflor SRL gel (SRL) with that of Cremor Capsici Compositus FNA (CCC) in treating low-back pain .

Background

Acute low-back pain is very common in Western industrialized countries. Usually analgesics or topical medications are prescribed at the first visit to the GP.

Methodology

This multicentre, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial was carried out in the practices of 19 GPs in Bristol and Manchester, UK. 161 subjects with acute low-back pain were treated for 1 week with either SRL or CCC. Pain was scored on a 100-mm visual analogue scale (VAS) and VAS score reduction was compared between treatments. Safety was evaluated from the number of subjects who experienced adverse events (AEs), withdrawals from the study due to an AE, and adverse drug reactions (ADRs).

Results

After adjusting for VAS score at baseline and age, the VAS reduction differed between the SRL group and the CCC group by –0.6 mm . Fewer subjects in the SRL group experienced an AE (11% versus 26%) or an ADR (4% versus 24%), and fewer subjects withdrew due to an AE (0% versus 11%) compared with the CCC group.

Conclusion

SRL and CCC were equally effective in the treatment of low-back pain; however SRL had a better safety profile . The authors' conclusion was that SRL is preferable to capsicum-based products for the topical treatment of low-back pain because of the lower risk of adverse effects.

References

Stam C et al. The efficacy and safety of a homeopathic gel in the treatment of acute low back pain: a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind comparative clinical trial. The British Homoeopathic Journal 90 (1): 21-8. Jan 2001.

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