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Arsenicum album

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Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • A-a, arsenic trioxide, arsenius acid, white arsenic, white oxide of metallic arsenic.
  • Select multi-ingredient product containing Arsenicum album: Canova Method (homeopathic dilutions of Aconitum napellus, Arsenicum album (arsenic trioxide), Bryonia alba, Lachesis muta venom, and Thuja occidentalis).

Background
  • Arsenic is an element found naturally in the earth in the form of arsenopyrite ore. Arsenic and all its compounds are highly toxic and may cause death.
  • Arsenicum album (white arsenic) is a homeopathic remedy prepared from arsenic trioxide powder (As2O3). The powder is mixed with lactose and then diluted to a very low concentration. Homeopathic Arsenicum album is available as tablets, pilules, powder, granules, and liquid.
  • Arsenicum album has been used to treat asthma, inflamed eyes that water and sting, headaches with vomiting and dizziness, and mouth ulcers. Use of Arsenicum album has been studied for the treatment of anxiety and suspected chronic arsenic poisoning. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
  • There are no reports of toxicity from the use of Arsenicum album in adults. Its safety in children and pregnant or breastfeeding women has not been established.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Limited research has investigated the use of Arsenicum album to treat anxiety. Further research is needed in this area.

C


Limited research suggests that Arsenicum album may aid in the treatment of arsenic poisoning. Further research is required before conclusions can be made.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Abdominal pain, acne, alcoholism, angina (chest pain), anthrax, ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdomen), asthma, back pain, bad breath, bleeding gums, bone loss, burning eyes, burns, cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), cholera, common cold, corneal abrasions/ulcers, cough, cough (bloody), cramping, dandruff, delirium tremens, diabetes, diabetic ulcers, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth (xerostomia), dysentery, dyspnea (shortness of breath), eczema, edema, exhaustion, eye disorders, feebleness, fever, gas, food poisoning, fungal infections, grief, hallucinations, hay fever, headaches, heart disease, heartburn, hemorrhage (excessive bleeding), hemorrhoids, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), intestinal parasites, itchy scalp, kidney disease (Bright's disease), leukorrhea (thick vaginal discharge), lupus, malaria treatment, malnutrition, menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), nasal congestion, nausea and vomiting, nightmares, otorrhea (fluid drainage from the ear), ovarian disorders, pain (epigastric), pain (various causes), paralysis, parasitic infection, peripheral neuropathy, photosensitivity, psoriasis, rectal complaints, rectal prolapse, restlessness, sciatica, sepsis (bacterial infection of the blood and tissues), shivering, skin diseases, skin ulcer, sore throat, splenomegaly (enlarged spleen), stings, suicide prevention, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), thirst, toothache, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, ulcers (mouth), venereal diseases, weight loss, wounds.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • Note: Homeopathic Arsenicum album remedies are available as tablets, pilules (small pills), powder, granules, and liquid. Arsenicum album is prepared from arsenic trioxide powder (As2O3) mixed with lactose. This material is then diluted, with concentrations expressed as "centesimals," where one centesimal (1c) represents a 1:100 dilution.
  • For anxiety, a single dose of 200 CH (unit not defined) of homeopathic Arsenicum album has been taken by mouth.
  • For fatigue with restlessness, 30c Arsenicum album has been taken by mouth two times daily for up to 14 days.
  • For fear, 6c Arsenicum album has been taken by mouth every two hours for up to 10 doses.
  • For poisoning (arsenic), doses of 30-200c Arsenicum album have been taken by mouth.
  • For stomach flu (with vomiting and diarrhea), 6c Arsenicum album has been taken by mouth every hour for up to 10 doses, without satisfactory evidence from human studies.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • Avoid Arsenicum album in children, due to lack of scientific evidence. Arsenicum album preparations should be stored in a childproof container and kept out of the reach of children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid with known allergy or sensitivity to lactose, a constituent of Arsenicum album homeopathic preparations.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Arsenicum album should only be taken under the direction of a healthcare practitioner.
  • Most published studies in humans have used Arsenicum album as a treatment for suspected arsenic poisoning.
  • Arsenicum album is likely safe when taken in intermittent (nondaily) doses of 6-200c by adult, nonsensitive, nonpregnant patients for up to 75 days.
  • Use cautiously in patients with lactose intolerance.
  • Use cautiously in patients with skin disease, as Arsenicum album may cause skin eruptions.
  • Use cautiously in patients with gastrointestinal disorders, as Arsenicum album may cause diarrhea.
  • Use cautiously in patients who consume caffeine, coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, mint, or some essential oils, such as rosemary, thyme, camphor, mint, eucalyptus, and lavender (solution >2%).
  • Avoid in children, as safety data are lacking for pediatric patients.
  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
  • Avoid with known allergy or sensitivity to lactose, a constituent of Arsenicum album homeopathic preparations.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Arsenicum album may normalize elevated blood sugar levels in patients suspected to have arsenic poisoning. Caution is advised in such patients who also have diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar levels. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Arsenicum album may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
  • Arsenicum album may also interact with anticancer agents or arsenic poisoning antidotes.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Arsenicum album may normalize elevated blood sugar levels in patients suspected to have arsenic poisoning. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also affect blood sugar levels. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
  • Arsenicum album may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.
  • Arsenicum album may also interact with anticancer agents, arsenic poisoning antidotes, essential oils, or mint.
  • It has been suggested that Arsenicum album not be taken within 30 minutes of ingesting any food or liquid and that caffeine, coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods be avoided.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Belon P, Banerjee P, Choudhury SC, et al. Can administration of potentized homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum album, alter antinuclear antibody (ANA) titer in people living in high-risk arsenic contaminated areas? I. A correlation with certain hematological parameters. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2006;3(1):99-107.
  2. Datta S, Mallick P, Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing genotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: comparative studies of pre-, post- and combined pre- and post-oral administration and comparative efficacy of two microdoses. Complement Ther Med 1999;7(2):62-75.
  3. Datta S, Mallick P, Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing genotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: II. Comparative efficacy of an antibiotic, actinomycin D alone and in combination with either of two microdoses. Complement Ther Med 1999;7(3):156-163.
  4. Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Pathak S, Guha B, et al. Can homeopathic arsenic remedy combat arsenic poisoning in humans exposed to groundwater arsenic contamination?: a preliminary report on first human trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2005;2(4):537-548.
  5. Kundu SN, Mitra K, Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum-album-30) in reducing cytotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: III. Enzymatic changes and recovery of tissue damage in liver. Complement Ther Med 2000;8(2):76-81.
  6. Kundu SN, Mitra K, Khuda Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homeopathic drug (Arsenicum-Aalbum-30) in reducing cytotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: IV. Pathological changes, protein profiles, and content of DNA and RNA. Complement Ther Med 2000;8(3):157-165.
  7. Mallick P, Mallick JC, Guha B, et al. Ameliorating effect of microdoses of a potentized homeopathic drug, Arsenicum Album, on arsenic-induced toxicity in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med 2003;3(1):7.
  8. Mitra K, Kundu SN, Khuda Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing toxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: II. On alterations in body weight, tissue weight and total protein. Complement Ther Med 1999;7(1):24-34.
  9. Oberbaum M, Schreiber R, Rosenthal C, et al. Homeopathic treatment in emergency medicine: a case series. Homeopathy 2003;92(1):44-47.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


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