Booster Shots

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What doesn't kill you ... probably doesn't do much anyway

December 7, 2009 | 10:06 pm

Singer Billy Joel's daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, lit up the blogosphere today after reportedly swallowing eight pills of Traumeel, "distraught over the ending of a recent relationship," according to Us Magazine

Traumeel, marketed as anti-inflammatory medication, contains a mix of herbs and other ingredients in low doses, and can come as a pill or an ointment.

The 23-year-old, who allegedly called 911 in a panic, needn't have worried -- there's no overwhelming proof that the homeopathic alternative to ibuprofen does much of anything

"If it is a homeopathic preparation, that means it is given in very low dose," said Paul Lofholm, a pharmacist based in Marin County. "It’s pretty hard to overdose on any homeopathic drug, because it has such a low potency."

Those of you eyeing your medicine cabinets can breathe easier -- Traumeel probably won't hurt. But it's probably wasting your valuable shelf space.

-- Amina Khan

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