Facts About Alternative Medicine Clinical Trials
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Facts About Alternative Medicine Clinical Trials

Like other clinical trials, alternative medicine clinical trials are a very important part of medical research. Clinical trials are necessary to ensure that alternative medicine, as well as, all medicine is safe and effective to use. There are different stages of clinical trials used to for each stage of a disease.

Alternative medicine clinical trials are a very important part of medical research. Clinical trials are necessary to ensure that alternative medicine, as well as, all medicine is safe and effective to use. There are different stages of clinical trials used to for each stage of a disease.

It is important to test alternative medicine in the same way that other medicines are tested. Anytime alternative medicine is chosen, there has to be a sense of safety in taking it, especially for those that are avoiding other drugs that may come with some unpleasant side effects. Clinical trials have a protocol to follow that outlines the study, why it's being done, objectives and how the study will be conducted.

Types of Clinical Trials

  • Treatment Trials - used to test treatments for a certain type of disease or condition.
  • Prevention Trials - studies the way that a healthy person may come down with the disease.
  • Screening or Early Detection Trials - studies the way to find diseases before any signs or symptoms are obvious.
  • Diagnostic Trials - tests new ways to identify, earlier and more accurately, if a person has a disease or condition.
  • Quality-of-life Trials - studies the way to make patient's quality of life better.

There are clinical trials that are used for healthy people too. Clinical trials are not just for those that have exhausted all efforts elsewhere.

 Clinical Trial Phases

  • Phase I - small numbers of people are given the treatment so that proper dosage and administration can be determined. Patients will be watched for safety and to ensure that there are no adverse effects.
  • Phase II - larger numbers of people are given the treatment to test its usefulness, while watching for any adverse effects. This phase may last for years.
  • Phase III - treatment is given to several hundred people so that its efficiency can be tested, while adverse effects can be better defined.

Participants

Each clinical trial is different and so are the rules for participation. The specifics of a trial depend on what is being looked at and what questions need answers.

In clinical trials, the people used are of different genders, age and ethnicity. This way, the study relates more to the overall population. The only exception is when a clinical trial is limited to a target group.

  • Participants are required to give a signed consent before beginning to participate in any clinical trial.
  • Participant's health is checked at the beginning and all throughout the clinical trial.
  • Participants must do certain things, like taking medication at home and keeping a journal listing of side effects, etc.

Common Elements

  • Participants are randomly assigned to be part of the control or investigational group by a computer.
  • Trials are double blind, which means that participants and researchers do not know who has been assigned to which group.
  • Placebos, or a sugar pill, are given to some participants instead of the medicine that is being studied.

All of these things keep clinical trials from being biased and give more accurate results.

Source:

www.americancancersociety.org

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