Thursday, November 25, 2010

Homeopathy overdose

So, as I mentioned on Wednesday, prompted by Martin Robbins challenge to homeopaths, I am going to start overdosing on homeopathy for a prolonged period.

I have selected "Boots insomnia tablets", for a couple of reasons:

1) It is very rare for me to have any problems sleeping at all. Consequently, as homeopathy operates under "like treats like", and I don't have any problems with insomnia, one would expect me to start having problems with sleep. This is something I really don't want to do, as I am very busy, all the time, and sleep is important!

2) Boots have a 3 for 2 offer on. I'm not on a massive wage, and this is out of my pocket, so I can stock up on the cheap! On top of that, I don't like to give my money to stuff like this, so will "offset" my homeopathy support by fundraising an equal amount to Sense About Science. Feel free to help me out on this front!

How to overdose? A number of suggestions were given to Martin, but the majority seemed to imply taking the dose over a longer time frame than was recommended. The instructions for the pills state:

Two tablets four hours before bed and two tablets immediately before bed. A further two tablets may be taken during the night if required. Tablets to be sucked or chewed and to be taken between meals.

This gives a max dose of six tablets in a day. I would like to go crazy and take a packet a day, but in this age of austerity, I will take 4 tablets at a sitting, giving me a total of 8 in a day. I will continue with this for four months.

I will have pen and paper next to my bed, in which I will record my bed time, and how I feel in the morning.

I do voluntary work on a night shift, about once a week, which results in a bed time of 02:45ish, contrary to 23:30 when I normally go to bed. I get up for work at 07:30, I usually hit snooze once though. I usually don't feel so refreshed on a morning after the night shift, but haven't found it affecting my work. My sleeping patterns at weekends aren't as defined, but I'll make a note of time to bed, and time up.

If the Boots is out of stock I can't help that, but I intend to start this experiment later today.

I've not had a chance to fully investigate what the active ingredients that have been diluted do, but will do so, and in my next post on this. This will allow me to detail what symptoms should appear. This means that if I get ill with something unrelated, we can see whether any of the symptoms of that match what we would expect, and also, if my arms drop off, we can discount that as an effect of the homeopathy, and more on my failure as a chainsaw juggler (you get the idea).

As Martin says:

...homeopaths should be working as hard as possible to reach a collective, evidence-based consensus on what, if anything, is actually 'an overdose', and what the public should do if they take one. That would be the ethical, responsible thing for the industry to do.

Obviously I am a subject of one, this gives me no degrees of freedom, so any results will only serve as an anecdote, and won't help in this challenge. However, we know from such an approach as Martin has challenged the homeopaths to produce, if any one did this with paracetamol, they could kiss their liver, and then their life (that order) good bye.

Of course, so far, there is no consensus on what an overdose constitutes. I am potentially putting my health at risk. I really value my health and well being. Such is my believe that with homeopathy, there is nothing in it.

I do hope I am not proved wrong.


  1. if you accidentally overdose, all you gotta do is drink an empty glass of water.

  2. You're a brave man, Gunga Din. Nonetheless, by overdosing, you are, of course, UNDERdosing. Remember, less is more! You should, therefore, be perfectly safe.
    If, on the other hand, you took NONE AT ALL....


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