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Summary

Groundwater arsenic contamination has become a menacing global problem. No drug is available until now to combat chronic arsenic poisoning. To examine if a potentized homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum Album-200, can effectively combat chronic arsenic toxicity induced by repeated injections of Arsenic trioxide in mice, the following experimental design was adopted. Mice (Mus musculus) were injected subcutaneously with 0.016% arsenic trioxide at the rate of 1 ml/100 g body weight, at an interval of 7 days until they were killed at day 30, 60, 90 or 120 and were divided into three groups: (i) one receiving a daily dose of Arsenicum Album-200 through oral administration, (ii) one receiving the same dose of diluted succussed alcohol (Alcohol-200) and (iii) another receiving neither drug, nor succussed alcohol. The remedy or the placebo, as the case may be, was fed from the next day onwards after injection until the day before the next injection, and the cycle was repeated until the mice were killed. Two other control groups were also maintained: one receiving only normal diet, and the other receiving normal diet and succussed alcohol. Several toxicity assays, such as cytogenetical (chromosome aberrations, micronuclei, mitotic index, sperm head anomaly) and biochemical (acid and alkaline phosphatases, lipid peroxidation), were periodically made. Compared with controls, the drug fed mice showed reduced toxicity at statistically significant levels in respect of all the parameters studied, thereby indicating protective potentials of the homeopathic drug against chronic arsenic poisoning.