‘Paradoxical pharmacology’: therapeutic strategy used by the ‘homeopathic pharmacology’ for more than two centuries

  • Marcus Zulian Teixeira School of Medicine, University of São Paulo


Using the empirical or phenomenological research method by observing the effects of drugs in the human physiology, Samuel Hahnemann proposed the homeopathic treatment. He synthesized modern pharmacodynamic in the ‘primary action’ of the drugs and in the consequent and opposite ‘secondary action’ or ‘vital reaction’ of the organism. Noting that drugs with ‘contrary’ primary action to the symptoms of the diseases caused worsening of the symptoms after its withdrawal, as a result of secondary action of the organism, Hahnemann proposed using this vital reaction in a curative way, administering to sick individuals the drugs that caused ‘similar’ symptoms in healthy individuals (therapeutic use of the similitude principle). According to the clinical and experimental pharmacology, this secondary action (vital reaction) of the organism is observed in the ‘rebound effect’ or ‘paradoxical reaction’ of several classes of drugs, which is the scientific basis of the ‘homeopathic pharmacology’. In the last decade, exponents of modern pharmacology have suggested the therapeutic use of the paradoxical reaction (‘paradoxical pharmacology’), proposing the use of drugs that cause an exacerbation of the disease in the short term to treat these same diseases in the long-term. In this review, we compare the various aspects between the ‘homeopathic pharmacology’ and the ‘paradoxical pharmacology’, reinforcing the validity of homeopathic assumptions and expanding the knowledge to optimize both proposals.

Author Biography

Marcus Zulian Teixeira, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo
Internal Medicine
How to Cite
TEIXEIRA, Marcus Zulian. ‘Paradoxical pharmacology’: therapeutic strategy used by the ‘homeopathic pharmacology’ for more than two centuries. International Journal of High Dilution Research, [S.l.], v. 13, n. 49, p. 207-226, dec. 2014. ISSN 1982-6206. Available at: <http://highdilution.org/index.php/ijhdr/article/view/714>. Date accessed: 21 oct. 2018.


Homeopathy; Pharmacology; Pharmacodynamic Action of Homeopathic Remedy; Secondary Effect; Rebound Effect; Paradoxical Reaction; Paradoxical Pharmacology