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Rev Alerg Mex. 2003 Jan-Feb;50(1):28-33.

[Alternative medicine].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Departamento de Inmunología, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico Nacional de Occidente, IMSS, México.


The so called alternative medicines are widely used and traditional physicians largely ignore them and their nature. So, it is necessary that medical practitioners are informed on the scientific bases about the alternative medicines and about the results of double-blind studies, if any, that show their usefulness, or lack of it. So, we reviewed the scientific rationales and the results of the available double-blind studies with placebo controls, both in conventional medical journals and textbooks as well as in those of the alternative medicine and produced by professionals of both conventional and alternative medicine. The scientific rationale of the alternative medicine is not based on the scientific method. Although there are some controlled, double-blind, placebo studies, those few with favorable results have not been successfully reproduced. The modalities known as alternative medicines have not shown any usefulness or advantage, aside from a placebo effect. Even more, they are not free from untoward or undesirable side effects, some of which are well documented. We conclude that there is not any real application for these therapeutic practices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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