Reply to post: Re: Codeine

Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

Pompous Git Silver badge

Re: Codeine

And labelling laws are NOTHING TO DO with clinical testing! People can very easily OD on herbal remedies.

I said nothing about testing in relation to labelling laws; they are clearly separate issues. The labelling laws are about whether the product you are buying is as described on the label. The D2/D3 contretemps earlier is a good example. In the past you could sell vitamin D and get away with it. You might hope to be purchasing D3, but what is in the bottle is D2. This switcheroo is illegal here. And the very large online pharmacy I purchase my D3 from doesn't have D2 listed for sale.

You insist that people OD on natural remedies as if I claimed they don't. Do you have a reading/comprehension difficulty?

Addressing the testing issue, I would hope that testing of herbal remedies was not done in the same way as prescription meds:

nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs in rheumatoid arthritis Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD,MSc


Important design aspects were decreasingly reported in NSAID trials over the years, whereas the quality of statistical analysis improved. In half of the trials, the effect variables in the methods and results sections were not the same, and the interpretation of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate in the reports seemed to depend on whether a significant difference was found.

Statistically significant results appeared in 93 reports (47%). In 73 trials they favored only the new drug, and in 8 only the active control. All 39 trials with a significant difference in side effects favored the new drug. Choice of dose, multiple comparisons, wrong calculation, subgroup and within-groups analyses, wrong sampling units (in 63% of trials for effect variables, in 23% for side effects), change in measurement scale before analysis, baseline difference, and selective reporting of significant results were some of the verified or possible causes for the large proportion of results that favored the new drug.

Doubtful or invalid statements were found in 76% of the conclusions or abstracts. Bias consistently favored the new drug in 81 trials, and the control in only one trial.

It is not obvious how a reliable meta-analysis could be done in these trials.


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