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Homeopathic Remedies Recalled For Containing Real Medicine

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the fake-fake-vs-real-fake dept.

Medicine 173

ananyo (2519492) writes "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled homeopathic remedies made by a company called Terra-Medica because they may contain actual medicine — possibly penicillin or derivatives of the antibiotic." Diluted enough times with pure water, though, maybe these traces would be even more powerful.

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Sarcasm (5, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 6 months ago | (#46592043)

I think many people are going to miss the sarcasm in the summary.

Re:Sarcasm (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592125)

No, it's not sarcasm! It's the gospel truth in how it works!
FREE XENU!

That's okay (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592137)

Diluted humor is funnier to those who actually get it.

Re:That's okay (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592679)

Humoropathic remedies?

Re:That's okay (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593249)

Whoosh fulfillment.

Re:Sarcasm (5, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 6 months ago | (#46592153)

I though the idea of homeopathic water was to dilute the percieved cause* of the ailment. Should diluting a helpful ingredient be considered harmful then?

*) for very, VERY loose definitions of "cause".

Re:Sarcasm (1)

Mjlner (609829) | about 6 months ago | (#46592443)

I though the idea of homeopathic water was to dilute the percieved cause* of the ailment. Should diluting a helpful ingredient be considered harmful then?

Quite so, which is why diluted vitamin C will eventually kill you.

Re:Sarcasm (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 6 months ago | (#46592581)

Within the insane homeopathic industry, that's correct. However, penicillin isn't always a helpful ingredient to everyone. Some are deathly allergic. So for those people it would "help" according to people who lack any cognitive function measurable by modern science.

Also relevant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:Sarcasm (3, Insightful)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 6 months ago | (#46593775)

Should diluting a helpful ingredient be considered harmful then?

"Helpful" is not necessarily true. It's possible to have a life-threatening allergy to penicillin.

Additionally, all antibiotics intended for human medical use are legally available only with a prescription in the US.

Re:Sarcasm (3, Informative)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46593929)

While at the same time you can go down to the feed store and buy the very same antibiotics, nominally for animal use, by the liter.

Re:Sarcasm (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592155)

Except that the sarcasm gets it wrong. The idea of homeopathy (as its name indicates) is to cause the body to fight against the effects of the diluted substances. So diluted penicillin would make the body fight antibiotics rather than bacterial infections.

If you believe in homeopathy, traces of antibiotics are a really bad idea to have in homeopathic medication. And if you don't believe in homeopathy, there is no point in buying the medication in the first place.

So yes, it makes complete sense to withdraw the medication that is contaminated with penicilline. Depending on the dosage, it can actually be dangerous or counterproductive to people with penicilline allergies. But even if we are talking about homeopathic traces, you don't want them in there if homeopathy is supposed to make sense.

Re:Sarcasm (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592367)

> And if you don't believe in homeopathy, there is no point in buying the medication in the first place.

So homeopathy is one of those things that requires faith to work? Very scientific indeed.

Re:Sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593173)

It's not supposed to require faith to work, but it does require you acquirer and ingest the "remedy" to work. The probability that someone will choose to take a homeopathic remedy if they don't think it will work should be low as no real doctor will prescribe one.

Re:Sarcasm (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 6 months ago | (#46592397)

I don't think the people selling this believed in homeopathy somehow.

Re:Sarcasm (3, Interesting)

MiniMike (234881) | about 6 months ago | (#46592511)

Depending on the dosage, it can actually be dangerous or counterproductive to people with penicilline allergies.

I'm allergic to Penicillin (and similar *cillins), and to idiocy, so this 'remedy' would be doubly dangerous for me.

Re:Sarcasm (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 6 months ago | (#46592655)

Wait, Homeopathy is like vaccination???? Does it cause Autism?

Re:Sarcasm (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 months ago | (#46593279)

Wait, Homeopathy is like vaccination????

Yep.

For a long time allergists and allergy desensitization treatments were disparaged by much of the medical community because of the procredure's similarity to Homeopathic treatments and theory.

Does it cause Autism?

Nope.

Neither, apparently, does vaccination. If I recall correctly: The research claiming to show that was sponsored by trial lawyers, many attempts were made to replicate it but they all failed, the journal which published it (and, eventually, even the doctor who performed it) withdrew it. Vaccines have some risks and downsides, both from the active ingredients and the preservatives, but apparently autism is not one of them.

Of course, after all the publicity, there are plenty of people who still believe in a vaccine/autism connection. Just as there are still people who believe in autointoxication and that a lack of "regular" daily bowel movements sickens people - a theory that was heavily pushed by the US government during WW I, when it was covering up the spreading of the influenza epidemic by its refusal to "hamper the war effort" by minimizing movement of infected troops among US bases at home.

Re: Sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593467)

And... whoosh fulfillment fulfilled.

Re:Sarcasm (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593639)

The research claiming to show that was sponsored by trial lawyers, many attempts were made to replicate it but they all failed,

Worse than that, it was shown that Wakefield (the fraud who did the bogus study) selected the children in the study because they were already showing the symptoms he was looking to blame on vaccination, then gave them vaccines, blamed their symptoms on the vaccines, and gave them painful, unnecessary tests to "prove" how harmful the vaccination was. This was all so that he could (after being paid to do so) discredit vaccines in order to promote a snake-oil "alternative" immunization method, which was also shown to be completely useless. And of course, blind to the irony, the anti-vaccine movement quite often claims vaccines are there only because the doctors are being paid off, and you should "follow the money" to see proof. (which they never actually do...)

the journal which published it (and, eventually, even the doctor who performed it) withdrew it.

Well, the journal withdrew it, yes. Wakefield didn't though, instead he himself was withdrawn, and had his medical license taken away as a result of his unethical behavior.

Re:Sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592997)

If you believe in homeopathy, traces of antibiotics are a really bad idea

Traces of antibodies are a really bad idea, period. Exposing bacteria to something that doesn't kill them teaches them to become resistant.

Re:Sarcasm (3, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#46593251)

If you believe in homeopathy, traces of antibiotics are a really bad idea

Traces of antibodies are a really bad idea, period. Exposing bacteria to something that doesn't kill them teaches them to become resistant.

This stuff isn't at a high enough concentration to alter the population dynamics of any bacteria in the gut (the most likely target, there should be few bacteria anywhere else but on the skin). But the concern it the dosage would be high enough to trigger an anaphylactoid response as that system comes with a nice group of biological amplifiers as standard equipment.

Re:Sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593915)

If you believe in homeopathy, traces of antibiotics are a really bad idea

Traces of antibodies are a really bad idea, period. Exposing bacteria to something that doesn't kill them teaches them to become resistant.

So you are saying that bacteria are gullible enough to believe in homeopathy.

Re:Sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593145)

"If you believe in homeopathy"

So it's make-belief, not science.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Re:Sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593169)

The "idea" of homeopathy, insofar as there's any thought involved at all, is to con as much money out of idiots as possible by selling water and/or sugar. There's certainly no concept of the body fighting anything at all, whether the treatment or the original cause of illness.

The original theory (long since discredited) was that any symptom in the body could only have one cause. Therefore, by poisoning you with something else that caused that symptom, the original cause must go away. Or something like that. Since poisoning people is bad, you dilute the "cure" as much as possible so that it doesn't actually do anything, but still manages to make your actual illness disappear. You can verify that more dilution increases potency quite easily: people who are poisoned with very little of a substance live longer than people who are poisoned with a lot of it, and so (relatively speaking) the dilute substance has a stronger curative effect.

It really is that stupid. However, in a time when most medicine was actively poisonous without any actual benefits, something that was diluted to the point of uselessness (while still not having any actual benefits) was a distinct improvement.

Homeopothy ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592077)

Even though it's been diluted to the point where just about every single molecule has been replaced, it can somehow remember all the good stuff it used to contain.

And yet, for some strange reason, it doesn't remember the fact that it used to contain bovine fecal matter and all sorts of other bad stuff.

That's the bit I find curious, although maybe that's where the bovine fecal matter shines through :-)

Re:Homeopothy ... (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 6 months ago | (#46592403)

And yet, for some strange reason, it doesn't remember the fact that it used to contain bovine fecal matter and all sorts of other bad stuff.

Only works when done in a pseudo-sciency way by a homeopathic practitioner - of course.

Re:Homeopothy ... (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 6 months ago | (#46592583)

How come the homeopathic practitioners don't just row out into the sea and throw their goose livers in there? They could cure all diseases overnight. They must be mean capitalists if they're not doing things like that.

Re:Homeopothy ... (3, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 6 months ago | (#46592725)

How come the homeopathic practitioners don't just row out into the sea and throw their goose livers in there? They could cure all diseases overnight. They must be mean capitalists if they're not doing things like that.

Where's the little glass bottles? Where's the shaking? Where's the successive titrations? You're not applying the true principles here, just a ludicrous caricature! That's why what you propse won't work. Not because it's a fundamentally incorrect Victorian era disease hypothesis.

Re:Homeopothy ... (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 6 months ago | (#46592453)

Even though it's been diluted to the point where just about every single molecule has been replaced, it can somehow remember all the good stuff it used to contain.

And yet, for some strange reason, it doesn't remember the fact that it used to contain bovine fecal matter and all sorts of other bad stuff.

That's the bit I find curious, although maybe that's where the bovine fecal matter shines through :-)

Fish urine.

Re:Homeopothy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592531)

Water? I never drink the stuff. Fish fuck in it!

-W.C. Fields

Re:Homeopothy ... (5, Insightful)

MiniMike (234881) | about 6 months ago | (#46592485)

And yet, for some strange reason, it doesn't remember the fact that it used to contain bovine fecal matter

This condition is transferred to the homeopathic practitioner.

I've met a few, and the transfer is very effective.

Re:Homeopothy ... (1)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 6 months ago | (#46592821)

I get a strong sense of the bovine fecal matter just from reading the texts on the packaging. That stuff is quite potent!

Re:Homeopothy ... (1)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 6 months ago | (#46592903)

For those who don't know, that comment is a direct lift from the lyrics of Tim Minchin's Storm [youtube.com] . Listen at 6:05 to 6:15.

+5 Funny for TFS (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 6 months ago | (#46592093)

The subject line quite literally had me laughing out loud.
Without doubt the funniest thing I've encountered this week, perhaps even this month.

Re:+5 Funny for TFS (5, Funny)

Maria_Celeste (2490696) | about 6 months ago | (#46592813)

Agree. Sometimes the glass is 1/2^1,000,000 full.

Re:+5 Funny for TFS (1)

hubie (108345) | about 6 months ago | (#46592863)

It made me laugh out loud as well.

News for Nerds? (1, Troll)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 6 months ago | (#46592095)

I'm not sure that the FDA recalling a Homeopathic "remedy" that claims to hold no antibiotics which actually does due to the manufacturing process, and could kill people who are allergic to penicillin is really a technical article that "nerds" would be all that interested in.

Well other than the numerous chuckles at 'homeopathy' :shrug:

[John]

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#46592123)

If it grew penicillin, I guess the water wasn't pure enough... ;)

Re:News for Nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592205)

I'm not sure that the FDA recalling a Homeopathic "remedy" that claims to hold no antibiotics which actually does due to the manufacturing process, and could kill people who are allergic to penicillin is really a technical article that "nerds" would be all that interested in.

Killing off people who believes in Homeopathy might not be that big of a deal.
The big problem here is that they introduce a non-effective amount of antibiotics on a semi-large scale to a large flora of diseases.
This is essentially a training camp for widespread antibiotic-resistance.

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#46592573)

The big problem here is that they introduce a non-effective amount of antibiotics on a semi-large scale to a large flora of diseases.
This is essentially a training camp for widespread antibiotic-resistance.

You mean like what happens at industrial CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)? Ground water near such a facility could likely have all sorts of traces of such antibiotics, and could easily find its way into products made with that water.

Closer to densely populated cities, products made with ground water or reservoir water can have traces of all sorts of potent drugs, some with very long half lifes. Most unused medicine ends up in local landfills, and the rest tends to end up in waste water treatment plants that are not designed to monitor, filter or break down these complex chemical structures.

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592429)

Yah, because there are no nerds in organic chemistry, pharmacology, medicine, manufacturing, or qa..

Go be old and crotchety some place else. Your narrow world view isn't needed any longer.

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 6 months ago | (#46593433)

Well shit. Then this is a news for everyone on the planet. I expect everyone is nerdish about some things. How about an article on the proper methods of making moonshine.

Dumbass.

[John]

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46594085)

I'd be interested in that article.

it's all fake (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 6 months ago | (#46592115)

this comment has been diluted 100,000 times to be politically correct.

First Post! Yes! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592181)

At least it would have been if all of the other posts before this one had been diluted enough.

Tap Water (4, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | about 6 months ago | (#46592189)

I believe "contains actual medicine" could be said of tap water.

http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo... [rsc.org]

Re:Tap Water (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592447)

Funny thing is that there have been filters designed to take care of this for over 20 years - but nobody wants to pay for them.

I remember reading about the new nano-filters back around '83 or '84 developed in Europe, possibly France, as it's been a while since I read the article in Scientific American.

Funnier thing is that if they'd started to pay for them, they'd have gotten less expensive to manufacture.

Wonder if there was a freak out. . . (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 months ago | (#46592223)

by those who were using this quack remedy?

I can almost hear the screams of terror when the news was announced:

"WHAT?! There's REAL medicine in this? Holy shit, that stuff will kill me!"

Re:Wonder if there was a freak out. . . (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 6 months ago | (#46592265)

Maybe we should #AskJenny about that?

Re:Wonder if there was a freak out. . . (2)

Barsteward (969998) | about 6 months ago | (#46592829)

its a bad day for her, they've just worked out autism starts developing in the womb

Re:Wonder if there was a freak out. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593931)

I misread the last line: "Holy shit, that stuff will heal me!"

Homeopathic principles (2)

Kinthelt (96845) | about 6 months ago | (#46592269)

Shouldn't sea water be considered a wonder drug in homeopathy, because everything eventually makes its way into the ocean and gets ultra-diluted.

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

Mjlner (609829) | about 6 months ago | (#46592379)

Shouldn't sea water be considered a wonder drug in homeopathy, because everything eventually makes its way into the ocean and gets ultra-diluted.

Well, I hear that diluted sea water is a very effective cure against drowning.

Re:Homeopathic principles (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46592387)

Shouldn't sea water be considered a wonder drug in homeopathy, because everything eventually makes its way into the ocean and gets ultra-diluted.

No. A homeopathic remedy is typically diluted by a factor of one hundred, one hundred times. So one liter of original substance would be diluted by 1e200. All the world's oceans contain about 1.35e9 cubic km, or 1.35e21 liters. So diluting with the ocean would be shy by 179 orders of magnitude.

Re:Homeopathic principles (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592461)

I think you mixed your math shortcuts there, sparky.

You can only tack zeroes on after you've expanded an exponential form. A "factor of one hundred, one hundred times" is just a fancy way of saying "10,000". 1e2 is 100. One hundred times that is 1e4, or 10,000. It is not 1e200.

Bad pun incoming! Stop practicing homeomathy.

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 6 months ago | (#46592595)

A "factor of one hundred, one hundred times" is just a fancy way of saying "10,000"

No, 0.01^100.

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 6 months ago | (#46592599)

Actually, no, you're diluting the substance by a factor of 100, then diluting the result by another factor of 100, and so on, 100 times. That's 100^100, or 1e200.

Re:Homeopathic principles (4, Funny)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 6 months ago | (#46592931)

Pfft. Whatevs. You guys both missed the point which is that homeopaths "tap the bottle". That's how it works, with the tapping. Sheesh, you guys are ignorant.

Re:Homeopathic principles (-1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 6 months ago | (#46592491)

That is wrong.

First off all plenty of homeopathic medicals are not diluted at all.

Those that get diluted get repeatedly diluted by a factor of TEN not HUNDRED.

And this is NOT repeated 100 times, the maximum AFAIK is 23.

The typical usage doses are D7 and D8, rarely up to D10. That means in real life you never encounter a homeopathic "remedy" which does not contain the original element anymore.

Except if the homeopath is such a wacko that he does not even know his own treat.

Re:Homeopathic principles (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46592645)

Those that get diluted get repeatedly diluted by a factor of TEN not HUNDRED.

Both Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and The Society of Homeopaths [homeopathy-soh.org] state that the standard "C-scale" is based on dilutions of one hundred.

And this is NOT repeated 100 times, the maximum AFAIK is 23.

Nope. Some remedies go up to 200C which is 100^200 or 1e400. For instance the anti-flu drug Oscillococcinum [wikipedia.org] uses a dilution of 200C.

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 6 months ago | (#46593021)

Then either wikipedia is wrong or the american homeopaths do it wrong.

Re:Homeopathic principles (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#46593307)

Or both.

Question: How can a homeopath do it right?

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

Ioldanach (88584) | about 6 months ago | (#46592749)

That is wrong.

First off all plenty of homeopathic medicals are not diluted at all.

If they aren't diluted, they aren't homeopathic. Holistic, maybe.

Those that get diluted get repeatedly diluted by a factor of TEN not HUNDRED.

And this is NOT repeated 100 times, the maximum AFAIK is 23.

Oscillococcinum, one of the most common of these quack remedies, typically comes in 200C [wikipedia.org] dilution. A C dilution is a 1/100th dilution, so 200C is 1/(100^200) dilution rate.

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 6 months ago | (#46593039)

If they aren't diluted, they aren't homeopathic. Holistic, maybe.
Why don't you simply google for homeopathic medicals and check yourself?
Oscillococcinum, one of the most common of these quack remedies, typically comes in 200C dilution. A C dilution is a 1/100th dilution, so 200C is 1/(100^200) dilution rate.
Then it is not a "homeopathic" medical but nonsense.

Re:Homeopathic principles (2)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 6 months ago | (#46593351)

Oscillococcinum, one of the most common of these quack remedies, typically comes in 200C dilution. A C dilution is a 1/100th dilution, so 200C is 1/(100^200) dilution rate. Then it is not a "homeopathic" medical but nonsense.

Wait... are you suggesting that some of this bullshit actually isn't complete nonsense?

Re:Homeopathic principles (3, Interesting)

Ioldanach (88584) | about 6 months ago | (#46593355)

If they aren't diluted, they aren't homeopathic. Holistic, maybe.

Why don't you simply google for homeopathic medicals and check yourself?

I'm well aware of the theoretical basis of homeopathic medicine, but even so I already refreshed my memory with google and a few sites both supporting and debunking it. I even included a link to wikipedia in my original. If you want to dispute my claim, provide a citation and not a "google it yourself" response.

Homeopathy is based on the idea that a substance that causes the symptoms in normal quantities cures the symptoms in smaller quantities. Hence the dilution.

Oscillococcinum, one of the most common of these quack remedies, typically comes in 200C dilution. A C dilution is a 1/100th dilution, so 200C is 1/(100^200) dilution rate.

Then it is not a "homeopathic" medical but nonsense.

Quite a lot of homeopathic products use the C dilutions, in surprisingly high numbers. Of course, there are also a number of products that use small numbers of X (1/10th) dilutions as well. The 3X-6X dilutions do result in a product that contains the active ingredient. Of course, if I started with a 1g sample of a drug, say, tacrolimus, and performed a 3X dilution on it, I'd end up with a 1mg product. This isn't homeopathy, because that is well with in the dose-response curve for that drug and the drug at that level produces a direct and specific response in line with its properties.

Re:Homeopathic principles (3, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | about 6 months ago | (#46593867)

Oscillococcinum, one of the most common of these quack remedies, typically comes in 200C dilution. A C dilution is a 1/100th dilution, so 200C is 1/(100^200) dilution rate.

Of course, there are also a number of products that use small numbers of X (1/10th) dilutions as well. The 3X-6X dilutions do result in a product that contains the active ingredient.

Funny example: Recently a (real ;-) doctor recommended a particular plant extract to my wife, to treat a minor skin condition that caused major itching and reddening. She found it at Whole Foods, and I noticed that it was labelled as "homeopathic", with a 1X dilution. So it was actually 10% the active ingredient.

It actually worked quite well; the problem disappeared in a few days and hasn't recurred. Checking online showed that it's one of many "natural" ingredients that can be sole OTC, as long as no specific medical claims are made.

So we might ask why they labelled it "homeopathic" when it has such a high fraction of active ingredient. Our guess is "marketing": The company that packages it wants to sell to the not-insignificant fraction of the population that believes in homeopathic cures. The doctors probably just grin, knowing that it's meaningless, but also knowing that a good number of traditional "folk" remedies are actually useful, as long as the problem is minor and precisely-measured medicine isn't required.

Actually, years ago I was diagnosed with chronic "dry skin" by a doctor, who recommended olive oil. He did explain that it really isn't a medicine at all; it just slows down evaporation and lets the skin retain more of the water it gets from deeper tissues. It worked well enough that he said real medication wasn't needed. I've used it off and on ever since, mostly in winter when indoor air is typically very dry, and it works quite well. I wonder if such plant oils are ever labelled "homeopathic", perhaps at a 0X "dilution factor". ;-)

(That doctor also joked about it being a medicine he learned from his Italian grandmother.)

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#46592779)

That is wrong.

First off all plenty of homeopathic medicals are not diluted at all.

Those that get diluted get repeatedly diluted by a factor of TEN not HUNDRED.

Please, no-one mod the parent up, because this is disinformation or ignorance.

There are two scales used in homeopathy. The traditional C scale is 1:100 per dilution and the X or D scale is 1:10 per dilution. Both are in use.

And this is NOT repeated 100 times, the maximum AFAIK is 23.

Samuel Hahnemann, who invented homeopathy, typically recommended 30 C dilutions. That's equivalent to 60 D.
A fairly common homeopathic remedy [wikipedia.org] is 200 C (or 400 D).

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 6 months ago | (#46593065)

Samuel Hahnemann, who invented homeopathy, typically recommended 30 C dilutions. That's equivalent to 60 D.

That is wrong, too.
He recommended to do not more than 30C.

C dilutions are not really used anymore ... as everyone knows: they don't contain the original element anymore.

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 6 months ago | (#46592789)

the maximum AFAIK is 23

That's six molecule per 18 grams of water.

Re:Homeopathic principles (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#46592823)

That's six molecule per 18 grams of water.

Less, because the homeopath does not start with a 100% concentration, but a Mother Tincture.
The MT is already strongly diluted - just like a glass of perfume isn't 100% rose leaves.

No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593339)

...because sea water is actually 95% fish pee. And that's just gross.

Re:Homeopathic principles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593349)

You are correct and that is why I only eat sea salt. I feel so much better now, it has changed my life.

It's time to fix this (2)

meustrus (1588597) | about 6 months ago | (#46592317)

It's about damn time something was done to fix this homeopathic mess. Read the Wikipedia article on Homeopathy [wikipedia.org] for a moment. The thing that struck me about it is not the "diluting makes it stronger" part. Everybody knows that. What struck me is that "homeopathic remedies" are basically always prescription-only.

Why do we allow non-prescription drugs to bypass FDA inspection because they are labelled "homeopathic"? I mean, truly homeopathic drugs should not be any cause for concern, but then they should also only be taken by prescription. What we have instead is a menagerie of sham drugs claiming to be "homeopathic" to avoid drug testing. Nothing 1x or 2x diluted should ever seriously be sold as "homeopathic".

It's about damn time to get rid of the special treatment altogether. Slapping a "homeopathic" label on a drug must not be enough to excuse it from proper testing. I could understand it it was diluted 10x, but then that only applies to the "active ingredient". What we have here is a drug with an "inactive ingredient" that happens to be penicillin (whether it was intentionally added or not - and excuse me, but what part of diluting a homeopathic drug involves "fermentation"?).

Alternative medicine is one thing, but it's something else if the producers themselves mix the product with real medicine because they think it is actually snake oil.

Re:It's time to fix this (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#46593399)

Homeopathic remedies are not 'prescription', if by that you mean an approval from a licensed Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, Doctor of Medical Dentistry or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (and some other practitioners depending on the state*.

Homeopathic remedies are approved by the FDA because some Congresscritter decided it was a good idea for the FDA to follow the manufacturing practices of these 'pharmacies'. And that is exactly what the FDA did. They found that the level of manufacturing quality was way substandard. So substandard that the 'clean' water that was used as a diluent was contaminated with enough fungi to produce a detectable level of penicillin.

So, in this respect, the system worked. Primum non nocere (first, do no harm).

* As always, US centric. YMMV.

Effective against... penicillin poisoning? (2)

Mjlner (609829) | about 6 months ago | (#46592327)

Diluted enough times with pure water, though, maybe these traces would be even more powerful.

According to the homeopathic principle, its efficacy would be directed at ailments caused by penicillin.

Re:Effective against... penicillin poisoning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592785)

As someone that is allergic to penicillin and has problems with it's derivatives, I can see the concern especially if it is NOT listed on the label. Not a good thing to take something that's supposed to be "good for you" only to wind up in the hospital or morgue

FDA, why not FTC too? (2)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 months ago | (#46592357)

They were recalled for saying "no antibiotics" on the package but having measurable amounts of them in the product.

In my dream world, this should have been a joint effort by the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission.

Re:FDA, why not FTC too? (2)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 6 months ago | (#46592469)

In your dream world you'd involve two huge government bureaucracies when one accomplished the recall without the other? I can see handing off from one to the other if they were still causing the problem and the first agency was unable to change the behavior. Maybe we should think a bit before pulling in all the coordination costs up front though when they may not be necessary.

Re:FDA, why not FTC too? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#46592807)

Didn't people see that report about seven different agencies having a finger in the regulation of gas cans? When seven dofferent committees got done, the thing wouldn't fit in the gas can holder on vehicles, so people just threw it in back.

Re:FDA, why not FTC too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593031)

would the FDA be concerned about the mouldy bread in my cupboard?

Re:FDA, why not FTC too? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#46593425)

would the FDA be concerned about the mouldy bread in my cupboard?

If you tried to sell it by stating it had medicinal properties, yes.

Oblig. Mitchell and Webb video (4, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 6 months ago | (#46592425)

Re:Oblig. Mitchell and Webb video (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 6 months ago | (#46592695)

everyone should watch it.

A Relevant Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592561)

An ancient quote from Opiate-Want Medici: "If you dilute me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

Antibiotic Resistance Training program. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46592613)

God no, are those idiots working to destroying antibiotic resistance with their idiotic disproven psuedoscience acting as a bacterial training program! That is scary in a "monkeys with nuclear handgrenades" sense.

Oddly Appropriate for Subject Captcha: gallons

Diluted? (1)

jennatalia (2684459) | about 6 months ago | (#46592659)

For her pleasure?

This happens all the time (2)

capedgirardeau (531367) | about 6 months ago | (#46593087)

This happens all the time, some quack alt "medicine" is recalled because it actually contains a known effective drug. Most often it is "herbal" dick pills that contain the active ingredient in traditional ED medications.

Getting on the "Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts for U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)" email list can be very entertaining:

http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/GetEmailUpdates/default.htm [fda.gov]

Many pharmacies carry these (5, Interesting)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 6 months ago | (#46593109)

I got marked troll last time I said this, but it is true.

Several of my local pharmacies have "homeopathic cures" sections.

A pretty clear violation of ethics, I would think.

Re:Many pharmacies carry these (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#46593461)

My local pharmacist carries these as well. I know them fairly well and this is a source of endless entertainment on my part (I'm a 'classic' MD). They do it for money. Plain and simple.

And, to be fair, the stuff is generally less dangerous than the stuff I prescribe which fails to work a distressingly high percentage of the time.

Re:Many pharmacies carry these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593553)

So what? Some stores sell normal food along with food more full of poisons than actual nutrients - alcohol, trans fats, HFCS, etc. etc.

Some "homeopathic cures" are good for you. Most do nothing. Some are bad. Hell, how many are selling stimulants and other crap to fight "cold virus"?? Cold FX and others?

If people want to buy BS at a pharmacy, then it's their problem. Let them burn their cash.

Amusing - But Contamination is Contamination (2)

careysub (976506) | about 6 months ago | (#46593269)

The fact that an inert placebo product is being contaminated by some random active pharmaceutical is funny, true, but contamination is contamination. A consumer product is contaminated with something it is not supposed to have; and low levels of antibiotic are actively harmful, not helpful. Since a safe product is rendered measurably unsafe, it is good that this was caught. Drug manufacturers regularly demonstrate that without monitoring and regulation bad products will enter the marketplace.

clear that up a bit (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 6 months ago | (#46593287)

I think the article is making a slight mistake here. Yes, idiots make dilluted homeopathic bullshit with like 1 molecule of snake venom maybe on average or whatever. But technically Zicam is classified as homeopathic and that's scientifically proven in multiple lab tests to stop a cold by preventing viruses from attaching to cell walls. It actually contains zinc and says it contains zinc too. So technically "homeopathic" doesn't necessarily mean it's that 14th century alchemist watered down magic bullshit, it just means it could be.

Re:clear that up a bit (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | about 6 months ago | (#46593457)

Stop a cold?

how do you prove that it stopped a cold? do you have the same subject subjected to the cold with and without the zinc treatment?

how would you even prove this? dose the nasal cavities with zinc then dose with virus and test the blood for traces of the virus?

Link to any studies?

i call bullshit.

BTW i used that zicam crap once and lost taste for three days afterwards...

HOLY SHIT THAt'S FUCKED UP.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46593289)

I don't really believe these "remedies" work, but as someone who is very allergic to penicillin, HOLY SHIT!

So now everybody trusts gov't? (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#46593407)

Not one person has read the article and wondered how the agency determined contamination? Oh wait, they just said it 'may' be contaminated.

What would be funny is if the product was working so well that they decided it just 'had' to have real antibiotics in it!

I constantly wonder why people think 'science' driven pharmaceuticals are such wonder drugs. With percentages above placebo dropping, the enormous costs, and the constant discovery of undesirable side-effects. FFS the drug commercials are already >50% side effect lists and the amount of commercials for class action lawsuits for side-effects almost outweigh the drugs!

Homeopathic Innovation! (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#46593883)

I have invented a homeopathic work-around for the concerned.

I have just discovered a way to dilute the diluted water itself! Placing the homeopathic pure water solution into a crystal goblet near a west facing window during the week prior to and/or following the summer solstice will dilute the water with pure sunlight!

Soon one will notice that the water itself has been completely diluted and is filled with the radioactive echo of the quantum entangled liquid. Be warned: You must drink the entire cup of sunlight energy & air diluted liquid; Resist the urge to take a small sip or else the dosage dilution in your body will be so powerful you may overdose on the potent hot air.

DISCLAIMER: Consult a local fire station immediately at the first sign of smoke as it may blow up your ass!

Oblig: Ben Goldacre: Homeopathy has side effects? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 6 months ago | (#46594055)

Ben Goldacre at Nerdstock [youtube.com]
NSFW: language

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