hay fever

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) increasingly use complementary medicine. The aim of this study was to determine whether traditional Chinese therapy is efficacious in patients suffering from seasonal AR.

METHODS:

Fifty-two patients between the ages of 20 and 58 who had typical symptoms of seasonal AR were assigned randomly and in a blinded fashion to (i) an active treatment group which received a semi-standardized treatment of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, and (ii) a control group which received acupuncture applied to non-acupuncture points in addition to a non-specific Chinese herbal formula. All patients received acupuncture treatment once per week and the respective Chinese herbal formula as a decoction three times daily for a total of 6 weeks. Assessments were performed before, during, and 1 week after treatment. The change in severity of hay fever symptoms was the primary outcome measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS).

RESULTS:

Compared with patients in the control group, patients in the active treatment group showed a significant after-treatment improvement on the VAS (P = 0.006) and Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (P = 0.015). Improvement on the Global Assessment of Change Scale was noted in 85 of active treatment group participants vs 40 in the control group (P = 0.048). No differences between the two groups could be detected with the Allergic Rhinitis Symptom Questionnaire. Both treatments were well-tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study suggest that traditional Chinese therapy may be an efficacious and safe treatment option for patients with seasonal AR.

Treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis by Chinese herbal medicine: a randomized placebo controlled trial.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is widely used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), however, evidence of efficacy is lacking.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the efficacy of a Chinese herbal formulation for the treatment of SAR.

DESIGN:

Randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial.

SETTING:

RMIT Chinese Medicine Clinic.

PATIENTS:

55 patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (active 28, placebo 27).

INTERVENTIONS:

CHM extract capsule (containing 18 herbs) or placebo, given daily for 8 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary measure of efficacy were changes in severity of nasal and non-nasal symptoms using a Five Point Scale (FPS) measured by both patients and the practitioner. The secondary measure was the change in score for the domains measured in the Rhinoconjunctivitis and Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) assessed by patients.

RESULTS:

Forty-nine patients completed the study (active 24, placebo 25). After eight weeks, the severity of nasal symptoms and non-nasal symptoms were significantly less in the active treatment group than in the control group, both for measurements made by patients and those by the practitioner. Comparison of active and placebo treatment groups RQLQ scores also indicated significant beneficial effects of treatment (end point Section 1: P < 0.05; Section 2: P < 0.01). Intention-to-treat analyses of categorical items showed moderate to marked improvement rates were 60.7{} and 29.6{} for active and placebo respectively. Eleven patients reported mild adverse events including 1 withdrawn from the trial.

CONCLUSIONS:

This CHM formulation appears to offer symptomatic relief and improvement of quality of life for some patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis.