Information update

Homeopathic remedies are not a substitute for vaccines

Starting date:
March 6, 2019
Type of communication:
Information Update
Natural health products
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Identification number:

OTTAWA – Health Canada is concerned about false claims being made in some marketing of homeopathic remedies, known as nosodes, stating that the product can prevent infectious diseases. Nosodes are not, and never have been, approved by Health Canada to be vaccine alternatives. There is no evidence supporting their effectiveness in preventing or treating infectious diseases. No homeopathic products should be promoted as an alternative to vaccines because there are no substitutes for vaccines.

Health Canada is aware of reports that some homeopathic and naturopathic practitioners are promoting nosodes for “homeoprophylaxis,” suggesting they can protect children from illness. The Department has not approved any nosodes with homeoprophylaxis claims. We are following up on these reports, and if we identify any non-compliance with the Food and Drugs Act or its regulations, we will take action.

Health Canada requires that the labels on all homeopathic nosode products include the following statements to make it clear that they are neither vaccines nor vaccine alternatives:

  • “This product is neither a vaccine nor an alternative to vaccination.”
  • “This product has not been proven to prevent infection.”
  • “Health Canada does not recommend its use in children and advises that your child receive all routine vaccinations.”

Canadians with information about the sale or advertising of any health products that may not comply with the Food and Drugs Act or its regulations are encouraged to report it to Health Canada using this online complaint form.

Children given nosodes instead of vaccinations are at risk of developing serious and potentially fatal childhood illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio and whooping cough. Vaccination continues to be the very best way to prevent serious infectious diseases and to protect yourself, your family and your community.

We realize that Canadian parents care deeply about the health of their children. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who is not vaccinated, act now and speak with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have. We also encourage you to seek out credible sources of information when deciding whether to vaccinate your children. Some credible sources include: 

Speaking to vaccine-hesitant parents is an important responsibility for healthcare providers. If you are a healthcare provider, we encourage you to answer parents’ questions about vaccination using evidence and an open manner.

Media enquiries

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Public enquiries