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Chinese patent medicines for the treatment of the common cold: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials

, : Chinese patent medicines for the treatment of the common cold: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Bmc Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14(): 273-273

Many Chinese patent medicines (CPMs) have been authorized by the Chinese State of Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of the common cold. A number of clinical trials have been conducted and published. However, there is no systematic review or meta-analysis on their efficacy and safety for the common cold to justify their clinical use. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SinoMed, CNKI, VIP, China Important Conference Papers Database, China Dissertation Database, and online clinical trial registry websites for published and unpublished randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of CPMs for the common cold till 31 March 2013. Revman 5.2 software was used for data analysis with effect estimate presented as relative risk (RR) and mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). A total of five RCTs were identified. All of the RCTs were of high risk of bias with flawed study design and poor methodological quality. All RCTs included children aged between 6 months to 14 years. Results of individual trials showed that Shuanghuanglian oral liquid (RR 4.00; 95% CI: 2.26 to 7.08), and Xiaoer Resuqing oral liquid (RR 1.43; 95% CI: 1.15 to 1.77) had higher cure rates compared with antivirus drugs. Most of the trials did not report adverse events, and the safety of CPMs was still uncertain. Some CPMs showed a potential positive effect for the common cold on cure rate. However, due to the poor methodology quality and the defects in the clinical design of the included RCTs, such as the lack of placebo controlled trials, the inappropriate comparison intervention and outcome measurement, the confirmative conclusions on the beneficial effect of CPMs for the common cold could not be drawn.


PMID: 25074623

DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-273

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