Medical News & Perspectives |

Despite Health Claims by Manufacturers, Little Oversight for Homeopathic Products

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2009;302(15):1631-1634. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1476.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings that a popular over-the-counter cold remedy could cause loss of sense of smell in users have drawn attention to potential risks associated with so-called homeopathic remedies.

Such products are usually allowed to be marketed as remedies for an array of health conditions without first demonstrating their safety and efficacy to the FDA. However, in June the FDA warned consumers that zinc-containing Zicam products (Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size) could cause anosmia, and warned the manufacturer, Matrixx Initiatives (Scottsdale, Ariz), to stop marketing them. The children's product was no longer being sold at the time of the warning, and Matrixx Initiatives has since voluntarily recalled the other 2 products, but disputed that they pose a risk. The warnings have renewed debate about the safety and efficacy of homeopathic products and whether they should be subjected to closer oversight.

Figures in this Article

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview


Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Graphic Jump LocationImage not available.

Homeopathic remedies receive far less scrutiny from the US Food and Drug Administration than pharmaceuticals, leaving many unanswered questions about their safety and efficacy.



Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics