Homeopathic Recall: What Are Homeopathic Remedies, and Are They Safe?

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Certain Terra-Medica homeopathic products were recalled by the FDA on March 18, 2014. A complete list of the products recalled can be found here. 

The recalled products were found to contain undeclared trace amounts of penicillin, which could cause a potential reaction in someone who is allergic to this class of antibiotics. This is extremely important; even if you are aware that you have a penicillin allergy, you would not have been aware that small amounts were contained in these various products.

You can find the complete FDA report on the recall here.

So, what are homeopathic remedies?

Homeopathic remedies are medications that use highly diluted non-toxic substances in order to trigger the body’s natural healing processes. Homeopathy is based on the principal “like treats like,” meaning a substance which causes symptoms when taken in large doses can be used in small amounts to treat those same symptoms. This practice has been around for more than 200 years and is a widely used form of complementary medicine practiced today in Europe and the UK.

Who uses homeopathic remedies?

Typically, homeopathic remedies are used by those seeking “safer” or “natural” alternative therapies. However, that does not always mean that these medications are in fact safe or natural.

Are these remedies safe and effective?

Unfortunately, the FDA does not evaluate these products for their safety or effectiveness; more testing would be needed in order to reach a conclusion.

Are homeopathic remedies FDA regulated?

Yes. The FDA does regulate the production of these remedies; however, the FDA does not evaluate them for safety or effectiveness, as mentioned above.

What ingredients do these homeopathic remedies contain?

Most remedies contain highly diluted substances depending on the condition that they claim to treat; however, some products labeled as homeopathic can contain considerable amounts of active ingredients and could cause side effects as well as drug interactions.

Is a recall of a homeopathic medication the same as a recall of a prescription product?

Yes. Homeopathic medications are regulated by the FDA and can be recalled just like prescription products. Check out more information on the FDA and homeopathic products here.

How is Terra-Medica notifying customers who have purchased their products?

Terra-Medica is notifying its customers by letter and email and is arranging for return of all recalled products.

How do I reach Terra-Medica if I have recalled product or questions?

If you have any questions regarding the recall, you can contact Terra-Medica’s Customer Service Department at 1-888-415-0535, ext. 1, Monday through Friday between 8 – 5 PM, Pacific.

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