Article 5: Ozone Therapy – A Rational Prescribing Approach
How It Might Work
A Rational Prescribing Approach
If you have a health issue and you think ozone might help, you will need a provider with the skill and experience to use it. In most parts of the world, only medical doctors can use ozone. They will likely structure a trial based on the Madrid Declaration on ozone therapy. These guidelines were first published in 2010, and the third edition was released in 2020. It is based on expert consensus from providers with many years of experience using ozone therapy.
Injections of ozone are usually administered once per week, but in some cases more frequent treatment may be recommended for you. Depending on your condition, its severity and duration, you may require just a few treatments, but for chronic problems, a course of 6-12 injections is usually advised. While short-term improvements are usually the case, a successful outcome usually means that these improvements persist. So reassessing treatment a few weeks after your last injection is wise.
Side-effects are uncommon, but inflamed tissues can be a bit more painful for a day or two after ozone injections. In most cases, pain is reduced considerably. Because ozone is antimicrobial, the risk of infection is exceedingly low. Serious complications after ozone injections are exceedingly rare, but no treatment is completely without risk. Your doctor should discuss these risks with you as part of the informed consent process.
While some might consider it unproven, a trial ozone therapy is certainly worth trying for many conditions, particularly those that have not improved with guideline-based care. A structured trial is a safe, responsible way to try unproven treatments, and rational prescribing is an evidence-based approach to integrative medicine.
The current approach to evidence-based medicine relies on randomized controlled trials to determine if a therapy is more effective than a placebo in people with a specific disease. If the trials are good enough and the results are positive, we recommend that therapy for everyone who has that disease. This is a great way to limit the use of ineffective or harmful therapies, but it has serious limitations.
Not only has it become taboo to use anything that is deemed “unproven”, but we now have technology that should make it possible to track the outcome of every prescription. Measuring outcomes in every patient — to evaluate every treatment they are given — is the future of evidence-based medicine. This data is coming, and it will soon support, and may eventually replace, the randomized trials we currently consider as the gold standard of evidence. This is especially true when making decisions about how to treat an individual patient, and it is a good way to determine what works for you.
Ozone therapy is a safe, effective tool supported by good evidence in many conditions. If you suffer from chronic symptoms and can find a skilled provider, it makes sense to consider a trial of ozone. Structure a trial, targeting the blockages you may have. This is an evidence-based approach to integrative medicine, and it has the potential to improve healthcare.