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Phytother Res. 2009 Sep;23(9):1303-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2771.

Fixed herbal drug combination with and without butterbur (Ze 185) for the treatment of patients with somatoform disorders: randomized, placebo-controlled pharmaco-clinical trial.

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  • 1Institute of Complementary Medicine, Department for Internal Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.


Herbal drugs are often used in patients with somatoform disorders yet, the available evidence is limited. The aim of the present short-term study was to evaluate in a pharmaco-clinical trial the additional benefit of butterbur in a fixed herbal drug combination (Ze 185 = 4-combination versus 3-combination without butterbur and placebo) in patients with somatoform disorders.For a 2-week treatment in patients with somatization disorder (F45.0) and undifferentiated somatoform disorder (F45.1), 182 patients were randomized for a 3-arm trial (butterbur root, valerian root, passionflower herb, lemon balm leaf versus valerian root, passionflower herb, lemon balm leaf versus placebo). Anxiety (visual analogue scale - VAS) and depression (Beck's Depression Inventory - BDI) served as primary parameters, Clinical Global Impression (CGI) was a secondary parameter.The 4-combination was significantly superior to the 3-combination and placebo (4-combination > 3-combination > placebo) in all the primary and secondary parameters (PP-population). Analysis of the ITT population confirmed these results. As to safety, no serious adverse events occurred. In total 9 non-serious adverse events were documented but the distribution did not differ significantly between the treatment groups.This herbal preparation (Ze185) showed to be an efficacious and safe short-term treatment in patients with somatoform disorders.

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