Sixteen RCTs (n=2,605) were included in the review. Nine studies scored 5 points on the Jadad scale, three studies scored 4 points, one study scored 3 points and three studies scored 2 points.
Favourable effects were found for homeopathic remedies compared to placebo for the treatment of ADHD in terms of Parent Symptom Questionnaire (1 RCT, n= 20, p=0.01) and CGI-P indexes (one RCT, n=62, p=0.04) compared to placebo. A third RCT (n=43) found no differences between groups for CGI-P index.
For participants with acute otitis media, a greater decrease in symptom scores was recorded for those treated with homeopathic remedies compared to placebo (one RCT, n=73, p<0.05). No significant differences were reported for treatment failures or ear effusion.
Two RCTs (n=218) reported homeopathic remedies being more effective than placebo for the treatment of diarrhoea (p=0.4), with a reduction in the duration of diarrhoea ((p<0.05) and the number of formed stools (p=0.02). A third RCT (n=34) found no significant differences between groups.
Homeopathic remedies were found to be beneficial as an adjunct to conventional premedication for postoperative agitation in comparison with placebo (one RCT, n=50, p<0.05).
No significant differences were found between homeopathic remedies and placebo for: reduction of the size of adenoid vegetations or the prevention of adenoidectomy (two RCTs, n=137); the prevention of viral conjunctivitis (one RCT, n=1,306); upper respiratory tract infection (two RCTs, n=421); reduced size of warts (one RCT, n=60); or for the intensity, frequency and duration of asthma attacks (two RCTs, n=179).
Adverse events were reported in five RCTS and were generally described as mild.