Randomized controlled trial to compare the effects of treating pediatric asthma with Traditional Chinese Medicine versus salbutamol and montelukast

Sunday, April 01, 2018 by

A randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) prescriptions to salbutamol and montelukast in the improvement of asthma control, mitigating asthma attacks, and enhancing the quality of life among pediatric asthma patients. The results showed that TCM prescriptions achieved better symptom control (SC) in children who have asthma.

The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

  • A total of 182 children with asthma were randomized into either the TCM group or the SM group.
  • Patients in the TCM group were treated with a series of Chinese herbal prescriptions, while those in the SM group received salbutamol and montelukast. Both groups underwent treatment for 12 weeks.
  • At the end of the trial period, researchers compared asthma control, shifts in scores of TCM symptom patterns, and SC scores following treatment.
  • A higher percentage of patients in the TCM group (91.67 percent) displayed asthma control compared with those in the SM group ( 76.83 percent), suggesting TCM can control asthma attacks. Scores for abnormal feces, hyperhidrosis, and tongue appearance in the TCM group were also better.
  • There were no major differences in the total scores of TCM symptom patterns and SC scores of the two groups. But patients of the TCM group suffered fewer asthma attacks, so they didn’t need as much antibiotics and glucocorticoids (second-line asthma treatment medicines) to treat bacterial and respiratory-tract infections.

The full text of the study can be found here.

Based on the results of their study, the researchers encouraged the wider adoption of traditional Chinese medicines as a proven, effective, and safe means of treating pediatric asthma cases.

Journal source:

Hui D, Yonghong W, Jian Y, Yumin S, Suhuan L, Wen S, Yiqun Z, Hong H. PRESCRIPTIONS FROM TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE COMPARED WITH SALBUTAMOL AND MONTELUKAST FOR THE TREATMENT OF PEDIATRIC ASTHMA: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. August 2017;37(4):522–529. DOI: 10.1016/S0254-6272(17)30159-0.



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