Homeopathic medicines for influenza in children

Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu is highly contagious and is usually spread by the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. Influenza and its complications are common at all stages, especially in children. Vaccines and anti-influenza drugs aim to prevent it. You can also catch the flu by touching an infected person (e.g. shaking hands). Adults are contagious 1-2 days before getting symptoms and up to 7 days after becoming ill. 

This means that you can spread the influenza virus before you even know you are infected. The presentation of influenza virus infection varies, but it usually includes many of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Myalgias
  • A frontal or a retro-orbital headache
  • Nasal discharge
  • Weakness and severe fatigue
  • Cough and other respiratory symptoms
  • Tachycardia
  • Red, watery eyes

Influenza has traditionally been diagnosed on the basis of clinical criteria, but rapid diagnostic tests, which have a high degree of specificity but only moderate sensitivity, are becoming more widely used.

Clinical study

This pragmatic clinical trial was conducted in the Brazilian Public Health System in Petropolis (BPHSP) with children aged from 1 to 5 years old. The medications used were mainly selected based on in vitro experiments (InfluBio), and in successful qualitative clinical experiences (Homeopathic Complex).

Following parental consent, subjects were randomly distributed to three experimental groups: Homeopathic complex, placebo, and influBio. BPHSP health agents collected flu and acute respiratory infection symptomatic episodes monthly following the established protocol.

Out of the 600 children recruited, 445 (74.17%) completed the study (149: Homeopathic complex; 151: Placebo; 145: InfluBio).

The number of flu and acute respiratory infection symptomatic episodes detected in this clinical trial was low; however, it was different between homeopathic groups and placebo. In the first year post-intervention, 46/151 (30.5%) of children in the placebo group developed 3 or more flu and acute respiratory infection episodes, while there was no episode in the group of 149 children who used Homeopathic Complex, and only 1 episode in the group of 145 (1%) children who received InfluBio.

Conclusion

These results suggested that the use of homeopathic medicines minimised the number of flu and acute respiratory infection symptomatic episodes in children, signalising that the homeopathic prophylactic potential should be investigated in further studies.