Background: Coping with the complex nature of fibromyalgia symptoms still remains a challenge for patients. Taking into account the possible adverse events of pharmacological treatments, patients often seek additional treatments for the management of fibromyalgia and turn towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Objective: In this review, the authors aimed to investigate the current state of literature of homeopathy in the treatment of FMS. Methods: Databases searched were Medline, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, AMED, PsycInfo and CAMbase, for the terms "fibromyalgia AND homeopath$" up to and including February 2013. Additional searches included Google Scholar, the library of the Carstens Foundation and that of the Deutsche Homöopathische Union (DHU). Standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated and meta-analysed. Results: Ten case reports, 3 observational studies, 1 non-randomised and 4 randomised controlled trials on homeopathy for fibromyalgia were identified. Both case reports and observational studies are naturally predominated by the use of qualitative and not validated outcome measures. Meta-analyses of controlled trials revealed effects of homeopathy on tender point count (SMD = -0.42; 95% CI -0.78 to -0.05; P = 0.03), pain intensity (SMD = -0.54; 95% CI -0.97 to -0.10; P = 0.02), and fatigue (SMD = -0.47; 95% CI -0.90 to -0.05; P = 0.03) compared to placebo. Authors’ conclusion: The results of the trials, as well as the case reports, define a sufficient basis for discussing the possible benefits of homeopathy for patients suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, although any conclusions based on the results of this review have to be regarded as preliminary.
Boehm K, Raak C, Cramer H, Lauche R, Ostermann T. Homeopathy in the treatment of fibromyalgia – a comprehensive literature review and meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2014; 22: 731–742.