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Altern Ther Health Med. 2018 Mar;24(2):16-26.

Efficacy and Tolerability of High-dose Pelargonium Extract in Patients With the Common Cold.

Abstract

Context • The common cold (CC) is usually caused by a viral infection. Antibiotics are often prescribed unnecessarily for it, although no evidence exists for any benefit in the CC. Effective alternatives are needed. Objective • The study intended to evaluate the efficacy of 7630, a proprietary extract of Pelargonium sidoides, the active ingredient in umckaloabo, compared with a placebo for the treatment of the CC. Design • This was a prospective, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, phase 3 clinical trial (RCT), with an adaptive group-sequential design with 2 parts, both of which were 2-arm trials. The first used a standard dose (SD) of 3 × 30 drops per day of the active medication and the second used a high dose (HD) of 3 × 60 drops per day of the active medication, against 3 × 30 drops per day and 3 × 60 drops per day of a placebo, respectively. Setting • The study took place in 8 outpatient departments affiliated with hospitals. Participants • For the entire study, 207 adults with predefined cold symptoms that had been present for 24 to 48 h prior were included in the study, with 103 participating in the SD part and 104 participating in the HD part. Intervention • In the HD part, as covered in this article, the intervention group received treatment with 3 × 60 drops per day of the active medication and the control group received a placebo (control group), for a maximum period of 10 d. Outcome Measures • The primary outcome measure was the sum of differences in the cold intensity score (CIS) from day 1 to day 3 and from day 1 to day 5, defined as the sum of the symptom intensity differences (SSID). The criteria for the secondary outcome, efficacy, were (1) diverse response criteria according to the total CIS; (2) changes in individual CIS symptoms; (3) changes in further cold-relevant symptoms; (4) ability to work; (5) activity level; (6) general well-being; (7) health-related quality of life-the EuroQol questionnaire with 5 dimensions (EQ-5D), including the visual analogue scale EQ-VAS; (8) time until onset of treatment effect; (9) treatment outcome; and (10) satisfaction with treatment. Results • From baseline to day 5, the mean CIS decreased by 11.2 ± 4.8 points for the 7630 group and 6.3 ± 4.7 points for the control group. The mean SSID was 16.0 ± 7.6 points for the control group (P < .0001). After 10 d, 90.4% of the group receiving the active medication and 21.2% of the control group were clinically cured (P < .0001). In the treatment group, participants' inability to work was significantly lower, with a mean duration of 6.4 ± 1.6 d vs 8.3 ± 2.1 d for the control group (P < .0001), and treatment outcome-complete recovery or major improvement-was significantly better at day 5 for the active treatment group compared with the control group (P < .0001). Mild-to-moderate adverse events-all nonserious-occurred in 15.4% of those receiving active treatment vs in 5.8% for the control group. Conclusions • The active medication is an effective, well tolerated, and safe treatment for the CC. It significantly reduces the severity of symptoms and shortens the duration of the disease.

PMID:
29055287
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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