Integration of traditional Chinese medicine with western medicine had some benefits for patients with SARS

Added April 2, 2020

Citation: Chen Y, Guo JJ, Healy DP, Zhan S. Effect of integrated traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine on the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome: A meta-analysis. Pharmacy Practice 2007;5(1):1-9

What is this? Like COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an acute respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. Therapy which integrated traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with western medicine (WM) was used to treat patients with these earlier coronaviruses and might be considered as a treatment for COVID-19.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for randomized and non-randomized trials that compared the treatment effects of integrative TCM/WM with WM alone in the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). They restricted their search to articles published in English or Chinese between 2002 and 2006. They did their search in August 2006. They identified 16 randomized trials (866 participants) and 8 non-randomized controlled trials (812 participants).

What works: The integration of traditional Chinese medicine with western medicine significantly improved some patient outcomes compared to western medicine alone, including resolution of lung infiltrate, CD4+, average daily use of corticosteroids and time to abatement of fever. There were no significant differences for mortality rate or cure rate.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Nothing noted.


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