FDA warns consumers about OTC homeopathic asthma treatments


The FDA warns consumers not to rely on the use of over-the-counter homeopathic therapies for the treatment of asthma. Without appropriate management, asthma could lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. Homeopathic remedies have not be evaluated by the FDA and may interfere with asthma management.

FDA has warned consumers not to rely on the use of over-the-counter homeopathic therapies for the treatment of asthma.

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Asthma is a serious, chronic lung condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow, and swell. If it is not properly treated, patients may experience complications such as wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. Without appropriate management, the patient may be at risk for life-threatening asthma attacks which may require emergency medical care.

There are several prescription medications approved by FDA for the treatment of asthma as well as some over-the-counter (OTC) products marketed in accordance with an FDA monograph. Homeopathic therapies however, have not been evaluated by FDA as being safe and effective and therefore are not recommended by FDA for use in the treatment of asthma.

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OTC asthma products labeled as homeopathic are available in retail stores and via the internet. These products are often promoted as “natural” or “safe and effective” and include indications for treatment of a range of asthma symptoms.

Patients are encouraged to speak to their healthcare providers if they think they or their child may have asthma. Patients with asthma can best manage their condition by making sure that they have appropriate medications on hand in case they experience an asthma attack or worsening asthma symptoms. Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events associated with the use of homeopathic treatments to FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. 

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