Blood-nourishing and hard-softening capsule costs less in the management of osteoarthritic knee pain: A randomized controlled trial

Yuelong CAO, Yinyu SHI, Yuxing ZHENG, Meiyu SHI, Sing Kai LO

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Abstract

The blood-nourishing and hard-softening (BNHS) capsule is a traditional Chinese formula used in the symptomatic treatment of inflammation and pain. We conducted this randomized controlled trial to compare the efficacy of BNHS with other commonly prescribed drugs. We recruited 120 patients from two teaching hospitals; 30 patients in each hospital were randomly assigned to receive BNH In one hospital, the 30 controls were given another traditional Chinese drug; whereas a Western medicine (chondroprotection drug/Viartril-s) was used as the control in the other hospital. Intervention was carried out over a period of 4 weeks. Primary outcome measures included self-reported pain level, and changes in stiffness and functional ability as measured by the Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) index. Mixed models were used for statistical analysis. Substantial improvements in disease-specific symptoms were observed, after 4 weeks of treatment, in patients taking BNHS capsules. As assessed by the WOMAC index, pain level of the BNHS group decreased by 57% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 50, 63], stiffness by 63% (95% CI = 55, 71) and functional ability increased by 56% (95% CI = 50, 63). No significant differences were found in any of the outcome measures between the BNHS group and either of the comparison groups. No severe adverse effects were reported. However, this study lacked a placebo group; therefore, we conclude that BNHS appears to be as effective as commonly prescribed medicines for the relief of pain and dysfunction in knee osteoarthritis patients, but costs a lot less than other Western and herbal drugs in the study. Copyright © 2005 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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Capsules
Knee
Randomized Controlled Trials
Costs and Cost Analysis
Pain
Aptitude
Confidence Intervals
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Knee Osteoarthritis
Ontario
Teaching Hospitals
Osteoarthritis
Placebos
Medicine
Inflammation
Therapeutics

Citation

Cao, Y., Shi, Y., Zheng, Y., Shi, M., & Lo, S. K. (2005). Blood-nourishing and hard-softening capsule costs less in the management of osteoarthritic knee pain: A randomized controlled trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2(3), 363-368. doi: 10.1093/ecam/neh104

Keywords

  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Chondroprotection drug
  • WOMAC