Homeopathy is a complementary and alternative medicine. Conclusive evidence on the plausibility, efficacy, and safety of these treatments is not currently available. Nonetheless, homeopathic remedies (HRs) are widespread throughout the world and especially in mental disorders. The aim is to assess the efficacy of HRs in the treatment of mental disorders.
We performed a Medline/Embase search for studies written in English and published from any date to October 23, 2018. All randomized controlled trials enrolling patients with any psychiatric disorder and comparing HR with placebo, no treatment, or other psychotropic drugs were included.
A total of 212 studies were screened, 9 met all selection criteria and reported data on major depressive disorder (MDD) (n = 4), generalized anxiety disorder (n = 1), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (n = 2), and premenstrual syndrome/dysphoric disorder (n = 2). Eight of 9 randomized controlled trials showed high risk of bias. Homeopathy showed greater efficacy in MDD compared with fluoxetine, and in premenstrual syndrome/dysphoric disorder compared with placebo, whereas no difference emerged between homeopathy and placebo in MDD and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Available data on homeopathy in psychiatric disorders are insufficient to support their use in clinical practice.