The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Traumeel S to treat pain following bunion surgery

    Researchers from Israel studied the effectiveness of this frequently prescribed over-the-counter homeopathic product composed of extracts from a combination of plants and minerals.

    It is widely sold in German, Switzerland and Austria.

    First, the details.

    • 80 patients scheduled for ambulatory hallus valgus (bunion) surgery were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
      • Traumeel S: 2 tablets 5 times daily for the first 3 days, and 3 times daily afterwards
      • Placebo: Taken following the same dosing regimen as the Traumeel S
    • All patients took tablets of paracetamol (acetaminophen) 325 mg + codeine 15 mg 2 tablets up to 6 times daily as their main pain medicine. They additionally received a prescription for tramadol (Ultram) 100 mg tablets as “rescue” pain medicine to take as needed, up to 4 tablets a day.
    • Changes in maximum daily pain at rest were measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS) that was filled out on the day of surgery and for 13 days thereafter.
    • In addition, the use of pain medicine, including the number of days where analgesics were needed was recorded.
    • Side effects were monitored throughout the study.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • There was no difference in pain or the consumption of pain medicine between the Traumeel S and placebo groups over the 14 days of the study.
    • There was a significant but transient reduction in the daily maximum post-operative pain score favoring Traumeel S on the day of surgery.

    The bottom line?

    Regarding the significant finding, the authors questioned whether “a transient reduction in the daily maximum post-operative pain score on the day of surgery is of questionable clinical importance.”

    The results here fail to support an earlier study where a single injection of Traumeel vs Traumeel injection + oral treatment vs a control group following ambulatory surgery.

    The authors tell us, “Homeopathy is frequently attacked for its use of solutions diluted beyond Avogadro’s number, and hence physical-chemical implausibility. That criticism was circumvented in this trial by employing a preparation of solutions that were dilute, but well within the material range.”

    4/19/10 13:54 JR

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