Besides classical homoeopathy, which uses above all single remedies, more and more homoeopaths use complex preparations such as the Pentarkan complex medicines or the DHU specialities.
Already in 1831, there were a few homoeopaths who were using combinations of two homoeopathic remedies. Although Hahnemann first welcomed this new way of treating patients, he later distanced himself from dosing two remedies at once.
In 1860, Arthur Lutze (1813-1870) wrote about the success of treating patients with two combined remedies in his homoeopathic textbooks. By the way, it was the Central Homoeopathic Dispensary of Dr. Willmar Schwabe, where he obtained the homoeopathic substances for his mixtures.
But it was not until 1890 when Emanuel Felke (1856-1926) combined several homoeopathic remedies into one complex medicine. These complex medicines were assigned to certain diseases or organ systems.
Finally, Professor Emil Bürgi (1872-1947) a pharmacologist in Bern, Switzerland, established the theoretic fundamentals on the effects of complex medicines. He stated that two or more remedies with the same effect on a biological system, but different points of action on that system increase their effect synergistically when combined.
Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals provided a series of complex medicines already in 1925. In 1940 Schwabe Pharmaceuticals provided its own complex medicines, each combining five single remedies in low potencies and in 1960, Schwabe Pharmaceuticals presented for the first time a series of so-called Pentarkan complex medicines to the (international) market, developed according to the motto: as many single remedies as necessary and as few as possible.
Each Pentarkan is a combination of two up to five well-proven homoeopathic single remedies selected to form a synergistic effect for specific indications. Here, the single remedies, i.e. the active substances are present in low potencies to guarantee an organ-specific effect in the respective indication. The preparations´ claims of indication result from the respective homoeopathic drug pictures and the clinical application of the active substances. Each active substance is a proven reasonable part of the combination as it contributes to the positive appraisal of the finished product enhancing the synergistic effect with regard to the indication. The basis of this evaluation is the homoeopathic literature in general, specifically the Materiae Medicae, providing descriptions of the single remedies, their field of action, the symptoms of drug provings and their clinical application, and the monographs of the Commission D, an expert group who reviewed the national and international scientific literature with regard to safety and effectiveness of homoeopathic single remedies for the German Health authorities, today known as the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. These monographs are still the legal fundament for the registration of homoeopathic medicinal products in Germany.
Many years of cooperation with experienced homoeopaths have produced a wide range of Pentarkan medicines. They cover the most frequent indications that have to be treated in every day medical practice.
All in all, there are 28 Pentarkan preparations that can be used in various medical fields such as dermatology, gastroenterology, gynaecology, cardiology (cardiovascular complaints) and circulation diseases, otolaryngology, neurology, orthopaedics and urology.
Therapy by complex medicines saves the otherwise time-consuming search for the appropriate individual homoeopathic single remedy. They are a convenient option both for the therapist to provide an indication-specific treatment of complaints, and for the patient they allow for a reasonable and ready-to-use alternative for self-medication in every-day complaints.
Besides the Pentarkan line Schwabe Pharmaceuticals also provides so-called specialties which are also complex medicines. Like the Pentarkans they cover a series of common indications. For further information see the product information leaflets.