Chinese medicinal herbs for the common cold

  • Review
  • Intervention

Authors

  • Xiaoge Zhang,

    1. West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
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  • Taixiang Wu,

    Corresponding author
    1. West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chinese Cochrane Centre, Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Centre, INCLEN Resource and Training Centre, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
    • Taixiang Wu, Chinese Cochrane Centre, Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Centre, INCLEN Resource and Training Centre, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37, Guo Xue Xiang, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041, China. txwutx@hotmail.com.

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  • Jing Zhang,

    1. Lanzhou University, Evidence-Based Medicine Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou City, China
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  • Qiu Yan,

    1. Sichuan University, West China Medical School, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
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  • Lingxia Xie,

    1. West China Second University Hospital, West China Women's and Children's Hospital, Department of Clinical Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
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  • Guan J Liu

    1. West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chinese Cochrane Centre, Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Centre, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
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Abstract

Background

Chinese medicinal herbs are frequently used to treat the common cold in China. Until now, their efficacy has not been systematically reviewed.

Objectives

To assess the effectiveness and safety of Chinese medicinal herbs for the common cold.

Search methods

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2008, issue 2), which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialised Register; MEDLINE (1966 to May 2008); EMBASE (1980 to May 2008); AMED (1985 to May 2008); the Chinese Biomedical Database (CBMdisc) (1978 to May 2008); and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) (1994 to May 2008).

Selection criteria

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) studying the efficacy of Chinese medicinal herb(s) for the treatment of the common cold.

Data collection and analysis

Four review authors telephoned the original trial authors of the RCTs identified by our searches to verify the randomisation procedure. Two review authors extracted and analysed data from trials which met the inclusion criteria.

Main results

We found17 studies involving 3212 patients. The methods of 15 studies were at high risk of bias. In only two studies was the risk of bias low. Trials used "positive drugs", of which the efficacy was not known, as controls. Different Chinese herbal preparations were tested in nearly all trials. In only one trial was a Chinese herbal preparation tested twice. In seven trials, six herbal preparations were found to be more effective at enhancing recovery than the control preparations. In the other 10 studies, seven herbal preparations were not shown to be significantly different from the control. One study did not describe the difference between the intervention and control groups.

Authors' conclusions

Chinese herbal medicines may shorten the symptomatic phase in patients with the common cold. However, the lack of trials of low enough risk of bias, or using a placebo or a drug clearly identified as a control, means that we are uncertain enough to be unable to recommend any kind of Chinese medicinal herbs for the common cold.

摘要

背景

一般感冒的中草藥治療

草藥在中國經常被用來治療一般的感冒,但其效果至今都未曾被系統性地回顧。

目標

評估中草藥治療一般感冒的療效與安全性。

搜尋策略

我們搜尋了Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2006, issue 3),其中包含了Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infection Group's Specialised Register、MEDLINE(1966年至2006年7月)、EMBASE (1980年至2006年3月)、AMED (1985年至2006年7月) ,以及Chinese Biomedical Database (CBM)(1975年至2005年7月)。

選擇標準

不論任何語言與出版形式的文獻,凡是研究中草藥治療一般感冒療效的Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) 均被收錄。

資料收集與分析

4位作者電洽了各RCTs的作者,以評估其隨機分組的過程;有2位作者從合乎收錄條件的文章中擷取及分析資料。

主要結論

共14個研究、包括2440個受試者被收錄在內,所有實驗的設計品質都屬於相當不好的C級。被收錄的研究均以「有效的藥物」作為控制組,但卻未交代藥物的有效程度為何。幾乎所有的研究均測試了不同種類的中草藥,只有一種中草藥被測試了2次。其中6個研究顯示有5種草藥比控制組更能加速復原,而另外8個研究則顯示另5種草藥的效果與控制組相當。在所有收錄的研究當中,都極有可能存在著各式偏差。

作者結論

中草藥或許能縮短一般感冒的症狀期,然而因為缺乏品質良好的實驗,我們無法建議使用任何一種中草藥來治療一般的感冒。

翻譯人

本摘要由慈濟醫院鄭育容翻譯。

此翻譯計畫由臺灣國家衛生研究院(National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan)統籌。

總結

一般感冒的中草藥治療一般感冒是世界上最常見、可影響各個年齡層的急性呼吸道感染;在中國,草藥常被用來治療一般感冒。雖然我們收錄了14個試驗,但因品質欠佳,所以沒有任何證據能支持使用任何一種草藥來治療一般感冒。未來將需要更好的試驗來解答這個問題。

Plain language summary

Chinese medicinal herbs to treat the common cold

The common cold is the most widespread acute respiratory tract illness affecting all age groups. Many Chinese herbal medicines are used to treat this illness in China. Although we included 17 trials, involving 3212 patients, in this review, the risk of bias was so high that the evidence did not support using any Chinese herbal preparation(s) for the common cold. Well-designed clinical trials are required.

Streszczenie prostym językiem

Chińskie zioła w leczeniu przeziębienia

Przeziębienie jest jedną z najbardziej rozpowszechnionych ostrych infekcji dróg oddechowych, która dotyka pacjentów w każdym wieku. W Chinach w leczeniu tej choroby stosuje się wiele chińskich leków ziołowych. Pomimo włączenia do niniejszego przeglądu 17 badań, z udziałem łącznie 3212 pacjentów, ryzyko błędu systematycznego było tak wysokie, że ​​te dane naukowe nie potwierdzają, aby stosowanie jakichkolwiek chińskich preparatów ziołowych pomagało w leczeniu przeziębienia. Niezbędne są dobrze zaprojektowane badania kliniczne (aby było możliwe sformułowanie wniosków - przyp. tłum.).

Uwagi do tłumaczenia

Tłumaczenie Joanna Zając. Redakcja Magdalena Koperny