Last updated on February 2012

Effect of the Homeopathic Remedy Kalium Bichromicum (Potassium Dichromate) on Viscosity and Amount of Sputum and Time to Extubation in Mechanically Ventilated ICU Patients.

Brief description of study

ICU-Protocol.Summary Profuse and tenacious tracheal secretions are a significant factor impeding the weaning process in mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). In homeopathy, high dilutions of plant extracts, minerals, and other biological substances are used as remedies for the treatment of illness, which is based on the "Law of Similars" (the higher the dilution, the stronger the effect). Kali Bichromicum (potassium dichromate) is a drug that is commonly used in homeopathy, mostly for conditions involving profuse, stringy, tenacious mucous and tracheal secretions. A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found a statistically significant effect of this remedy on improving the amount of tracheal secretion, timing to extubation and discharge from the ICU among critically ill patients, with no side effects observed. The proposed study will compare the efficacy of Kali bichromicum 10-60 (C30) versus placebo in reducing the amount of tracheal secretions in patients intubated with a conventional endotracheal tube or tracheostomy and receiving controlled mechanical ventilation in the ICU setting. The quantity of the secretions will be studied, as well as sputum neutrophil count (using direct microscopy). Time to extubation and the need for re-intubation will also be evaluated. 56 patients over the age of 18 years treated with mechanical ventilation for at least 3 days will be recruited from the ICU departments of 4 medical centers in Israel. The preparations will be administered in the form of small pellet-like globules, which will be placed on the mucosa of the mouth, to the side of the endotracheal tube. Patients will be randomly allocated to either verum (n=28) or placebo (n=28) treatment, with the remedies administered twice daily with an interval of 12 hours, for a period of up to 14 days or until the patient is extubated. Any adverse event will be recorded.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00473473

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