A healthcare provider takes a number of factors into consideration when determining a sufficient arnica dosage for a patient. The severity of the injury or trauma is one of the main considerations as is whether the condition is acute or chronic. If a patient is using arnica topically, the dosage will be higher but must be used for a shorter period of time. If a patient is taking this medication internally, as a homeopathic cure, the dose will be very low and the patient will be able to take arnica for a longer period of time.
In homeopathic preparations, arnica is diluted to a concentration of one part per million or lower. In this form, arnica is safe to take internally and can be used for extended periods of time. When determining the sufficient homeopathic arnica dosage, one of the most important considerations is the extent of the injury. A serious injury that affects a large portion of the body will require a larger arnica dosage than a mild injury that affects only a small area. Patients with more severe injuries will also usually take homeopathic arnica more frequently than patients with minor injuries.
The age of the injury also affects a patient's proper homeopathic arnica dosage. This remedy works best if taken immediately after an injury, and patients may take a high dose of the remedy every 30 minutes for the first few hours after getting hurt. After that, arnica can be taken less frequently until the injury heals. It is also possible to take homeopathic arnica before surgery or a strenuous workout to help prevent bruising before it starts.
Using an herbal preparation of arnica instead of a homeopathic preparation will also affect a patient's arnica dosage. When using a topical herbal preparation of arnica, patients will use a much stronger concentration of the plant. The proper arnica dosage for topical use may be adjusted for the extent of the injury, the age of the patient, or the sensitivity of the patient to the remedy. Arnica is usually safe to apply to unbroken skin, though it can cause irritation if used for too long.
Whether or not a patient is consuming herbal arnica will also have an effect on the proper arnica dosage. Herbal arnica is very strong and has been known to cause serious side effects, such as arrhythmia, when eaten. A doctor will determine how much arnica to give to a patient based on the potential benefits and risks and the reaction of the patient to the herb.