FDA takes on homeopathic drugs with potential safety risks

Homeopathic remedies may include plants, minerals and even animal excretions.

Story highlights

  • The FDA plans to pursue homeopathic drugs that are unproven and unsafe
  • Such drugs can cause symptoms similar to the conditions they claim to treat

(CNN)The US Food and Drug Administration plans to go after homeopathic remedies that are unsafe for consumers and offer unproven benefits in the treatment of serious illnesses, such as cancer and asthma, the agency announced Monday.

The proposal takes a firmer grip on homeopathic drugs, which are sold in the US without proof that they are safe and effective, as with formal FDA drug approval. Currently, no homeopathic drugs are FDA-approved.
    "People may be placing their trust and money in therapies that may bring little to no benefit in combating serious ailments, or worse -- that may cause significant and even irreparable harm," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
    These drugs -- which make up a growing, nearly $3 billion market, the agency said -- claim to treat illnesses using substances that can cause similar symptoms in a healthy person, the FDA cautioned. These may include plants, minerals and even animal excretions. Many scientific studies have found no evidence that these drugs are ef