Repetition of the Dose

Advice on Repetition of homeopathic medicine by Dr. Fortier Bernoville in his book WHAT WE MUST NOT DO IN HOMOEOPATHY….

Almost all homoeopaths have a tendency to prescribe for a long time the same remedy in spite of the amelioration obtained. We have tried much to fight against this habit. We may have to deal with an acute or a chronic case. We treat it for a given period and it is very difficult for us to tell the patient when he will begin to have amelioration. It is also necessary to lengthen the interval between the doses and to stop it totally when there is complete amelioration of the symptoms. Thus, if the patient is left alone to his own initiative he may either stop the remedy earlier before the amelioration has become manifest or he may fall in deep uncertainty. On the other hand we must also take care to consolidate the amelioration obtained. But it is necessary as Hahnemann has said, to decrease the frequency of doses as soon as their actions have become evident.

(This is a very delicate point in homoeopathic practice. As a rule we must stop repeating as soon as we have effect from the medicine applied. But how long should we wait for the desired effect? No rule can be laid down in answer to this question. On the one hand, the doctor is not sure whether his medicine is acting or not and on the other hand the patient becomes impatient because you cannot assure him when he is going to have amelioration. This is really a dilemma in homoeopathy. I venture to suggest a method, which I have seen very often useful during my long years of experience. (Repeat the dose in however high dilution it may be at short intervals until its action becomes apparent or give a high dilution and intercalate it with a lower one and stop the medicine as soon as its action is manifest and as long it continues to act. If the amelioration is not complete, repeat in the same way, R.M.)

Only homoeopaths who have very long experience, do not commit such errors (in repetition). We should also try to avoid a second error which will consist in stopping the medicine too soon. We must know to place ourselves on the borderline of these two dangers. To stop the medicine too soon is to cause the patient to fall back on his diseased condition. The first error is generally committed by very pusillanimous patients, while the second, which is generally done by the doctors, is to prescribe the same medicine for a very long time. In most of the patients this kind of continued prescription of the same medicine has practically no ill effects because their sensitiveness is of medium nature. But this kind of prescription has very great importance in hypersensitive patients who are rather exceptional. In such patients, the repetition of doses will cause in them not a stimulation but will bring an extreme depression resulting out of too frequent medicinal excitations. It is the question of rhythm In such cases we cannot fix well the rhythm which suit him. In such cases you may take the help of a method in order to check this medicinal excitation. It is to tell your patient not to take the medicine all the days of a week, to take it as for example for 5 days after an interval of seven, or not to take any medicine at all till the day of his next visit. In this way we may check the medicinal excitation; if not, we have the chance to fall in that extremely disagreeable situation which is as follows: The patient has begun his first prescription; he has great amelioration. He continues his medicines and telephones you that he is going much more worse. Then you change the medicine because you find new symptoms, but the patient goes from bad to worse. If you persist in your error, you give continually some new medicines till one day you stop all remedies and the patient feels immediately better.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.