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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Oct 7;(4):CD005531. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005531.pub3.

Chinese medicinal herbs for measles.

Author information

  • 1Infectious Disease Centre, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37, Guo Xue Xiang, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 610041.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Measles is an infectious disease caused by the Morbilli virus. Chinese physicians believe that medicinal herbs are effective in alleviating symptoms and preventing complications. Chinese herbal medicines are dispensed according to the particular symptoms. This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2006.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effectiveness and possible adverse effects of Chinese medicinal herbs in treating measles.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2009, issue 1) which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infection Group's Specialised Register; MEDLINE (1966 to March 2009); EMBASE (1980 to March 2009); the Chinese Biomedical Database (1976 to March 2009); VIP Information (1989 to March 2009); and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) (1994 to March 2009). We searched the metaRegister of Controlled Trials for ongoing trials.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which patients with measles without complications were treated with Chinese medicinal herbs.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Three review authors (YZ, RG, TW) independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We telephone interviewed the study authors for missing information regarding participant allocation. Some trials allocated participants according to the sequence they were admitted to the trials, that is to say, by using a pseudo-random allocation method; none of the trials concealed the allocation or blinding method.

MAIN RESULTS:

We did not identify any suitable trials for inclusion. In this updated review we identified 61 trials which claimed to use random allocation. We contacted 29 trial authors by telephone and learned that the allocation methods used were not randomised. We excluded 34 studies because the patients experienced complications such as pneumonia. Both reasons excluded 10 studies. Another study was excluded because the trial author had not confirmed the diagnosis of measles. We were unable to contact the remaining seven trials' authors, so that they require further assessment and, meanwhile are allocated to the 'Studies awaiting classification' section.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:

There is no evidence from RCTs for or against Chinese medicinal herbs as a treatment for measles. We hope high quality, robust RCTs in this field will be conducted in the future.

PMID:
19821347
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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