Conflicts of interest None declared.
Efficacy and tolerability of a Chinese herbal medicine concoction for treatment of atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
Article first published online: 14 MAY 2007
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 157, Issue 2, pages 357–363, August 2007
How to Cite
Hon, K.L.E., Leung, T.F., Ng, P.C., Lam, M.C.A., Kam, W.Y.C., Wong, K.Y., Lee, K.C.K., Sung, Y.T., Cheng, K.F., Fok, T.F., Fung, K.P. and Leung, P.C. (2007), Efficacy and tolerability of a Chinese herbal medicine concoction for treatment of atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. British Journal of Dermatology, 157: 357–363. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2007.07941.x
The study was registered with the Clinical Trial Registration, Centre for Clinical Trial, Chinese University of Hong Kong [trial number CUHK_CCT00084; http://188.8.131.52/registry/publictriallist.php (accessed 9 March 2007)].
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 14 MAY 2007
- Accepted for publication 6 January 2007
- atopic dermatitis;
- CDLQI (Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index);
- SCORAD (SCORing of Atopic Dermatitis);
- traditional Chinese herbal medicine
Background There has been considerable interest in traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCHM) as a treatment for atopic dermatitis (AD). A twice-daily concoction of an ancestral formula containing five herbs has been found to be beneficial in an open study.
Objectives To assess the efficacy and tolerability of the concoction in children with AD.
Methods Following a 2-week run-in period, children with long-standing moderate-to-severe AD were randomized to receive a 12-week treatment with twice-daily dosing of three capsules of either TCHM or placebo. The SCORing of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) score, Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), allergic rhinitis score, and requirement for topical corticosteroid and oral antihistamine were assessed before and at weeks 4, 8, 12 and 16 after treatment. Adverse events, tolerability, haematological and biochemical parameters were monitored during the study.
Results Eighty-five children with AD were recruited. Over 12 weeks, the mean SCORAD score fell from 58·3 to 49·7 in the TCHM group (n = 42; P = 0·003) and from 56·9 to 46·9 in the placebo group (n = 43; P = 0·001). However, there was no significant difference in the scores at the corresponding time points between the two groups. The CDLQI in TCHM-treated patients was significantly improved compared with patients receiving placebo at the end of the 3-month treatment and 4 weeks after stopping therapy (P = 0·008 and 0·059, respectively). The total amount of topical corticosteroid used was also significantly reduced by one-third in the TCHM group (P = 0·024). No serious adverse effects were observed between the groups.
Conclusions The TCHM concoction is efficacious in improving quality of life and reducing topical corticosteroid use in children with moderate-to-severe AD. The formulation was palatable and well tolerated.