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Current Affairs

Homoeopathic drug Arsenicum album 30

Date: 04 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A homoeopathic drug, Arsenicum album 30, has become a subject of debate after several states recommended it for preventive use against Covid-19.

 

Background

The debate originates from the fact that there is no scientific evidence that the drug works against Covid-19, a fact stressed not only by medical scientists but also by some homoeopathic practitioners themselves.

 

Details

  • Arsenicum album 30 has been recommended by the state governments in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

  • While the Maharashtra government is yet to take a formal decision, Mumbai civic authorities have been distributing the drug to high-risk populations in at least two wards. The Haryana prisons department and Mumbai police too are also distributing the drug to prisoners and officers respectively.

  • Even in states that have no protocol for using the drug against Covid-19, there have been reports about people flocking to homeopathic clinics to buy Arsenicum album, sometimes at triple the cost.

  • Arsenicum album is made by heating arsenic with distilled water, a process repeated several times over three days.

  • The health hazards of arsenic contamination in water are well known: long-term exposure to the metal can cause skin cancer, pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.

  • Arsenicum album is considered to correct inflammation in body. It takes care of diarrhoea, cough and cold. Arsenicum album is used commonly by homeopaths to treat anxiety, restlessness, cold, ulcerations, burning pains. It is taken in powder form or as a tablet.

  • With no clinical trial or large-scale study having been undertaken anywhere to scientifically validate the use of Arsenicum album 30 as a preventive medication, the massive demand has worried homeopaths.

  • Several homeopaths have pointed out that each individual reacts differently to homeopathic medicines and one medicine cannot be universally held as a prophylactic for all.