Sunday, January 3, 2010

Quietus for Tinnitus?

Perhaps you’ve heard the ads for Quietus, an allegedly “unique homeopathic formula” containing “proven and effective ingredients” for treating tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The product’s website doesn’t list the ingredients, but I was told by a representative who answered the phone that it contains quinine sulfate, salicylates (a close relative of aspirin), and several other ingredients.

Quinine sulfate?! The FDA banned quinine sulfate in 2006 from all FDA-approved drug products except for products used in the treatment of malaria. The FDA lists a number of possible toxic effects of quinine including disorientation, cardiac arrhythmia, allergic reactions, and even death (there have been 93 deaths associated with quinine use in the past 40 years)

Why is quinine still allowed in a homeopathic remedy? Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, homeopathic remedies derived from natural products can stay on the market until they are proven to be unsafe. In other words, the makers of homeopathic remedies do not have to prove their products safe before marketing their products; they can just wait and see what happens to users. Users beware…..

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