Homeopathic medicine (arsenic and aconite) and Health Canada

The pharmacies in London, UK, and Singapore carry homeopathic medicine including arsenic and aconite. Each preparation has a statement of “A homeopathic medical product without approved therapeutic indications.”

In contrast, similar preparations are found in health food stores in Can­ada with “endorsement” from Health Canada, and with drug identification numbers. Homeopathic medicines are used by both naturopaths and homeopaths and some are self-medicated.

Because of the extreme dilution active ingredients are not measurable, and therefore the homeopathic medicines are supposedly without side effect and “without approved therapeutic indications.” However, there has been a report of a homeopathic medicine containing aconite resulting in cardiac complication.[1]

Health Canada should consider raising its regulation standards to match those of the British and Singaporian health authorities, as well as those of the US FDA.[2]
—H.C. George Wong, MD



1. Guha S, Dawn B, Dutta G, et al. Bradycardia, reversible panconduction defect and syncope following self-medication with a homeopathic medicine. Cardiology 1999;91:268-271.

2. Wong HCG. Ephedrine: FDA and Health Canada. BC Med J 2011;53:262-263.


H.C. George Wong, MD, FRCPC. Homeopathic medicine (arsenic and aconite) and Health Canada. BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 2, March, 2012, Page(s) 66 - Letters.

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