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Thursday 01 December 2005

Plant-based formulation for bronchial asthma: a controlled clinical trial to compare its efficacy with oral salbutamol and theophylline.

By: Murali PM, Rajasekaran S, Krishnarajasekar OR, Perumal T, Nalini K, Lakshmisubramanian S, Deivanayagam CN.

Respiration 2006;73(4):457-63

BACKGROUND: Plant-based medicine is the 3rd most popular choice of both adults (11%) and children (6%) suffering from Asthma. While several plant-based formulations have been reported for the treatment of asthma in the past, many authors have published their reservations on clinical trials carried out using complementary and alternative medicines. OBJECTIVES: The authors desired to eliminate the shortcomings of the earlier clinical trials carried out by many investigators in a structured study. Therefore, a 12-week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of a plant-based formulation (DCBT4567-Astha-15) in comparison with oral salbutamol, salbutamol + theophylline and a matching placebo in patients with reversible asthma. METHODS: Ninety-four patients between 15 and 50 years of age, showing 15% improvement in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) 15 min after a bronchial challenge of inhaled salbutamol (200 microg) were recruited, and the end point of the study was determined as a 15% improvement in FEV(1) and clinical symptoms like dyspnoea, wheezing, cough, expectoration, disability, sleep disturbances and respiration rate. RESULTS: DCBT4567-Astha-15, salbutamol and salbutamol + theophylline patients showed statistically significant improvement in FEV(1), while placebo patients did not show any improvement. Fifty percent of DCBT4567-Astha-15, 48% of salbutamol, 58% of salbutamol + theophylline and 26% of placebo patients showed the desired 15% improvement in FEV(1). Improved mean FEV(1) values at the end of the trial indicated that the salbutamol - theophylline combination was superior followed by salbutamol and DCBT4567-Astha-15. Clinical symptoms like dyspnoea, wheezing, cough, expectoration, disability, and sleep disturbances were significantly reduced in DCBT4567-Astha-15 patients compared to patients of the other three arms. CONCLUSIONS: DCBT4567-Astha-15 was as efficacious as salbutamol (12 mg/day) or salbutamol (12 mg/day) in combination with theophylline (200 mg/day) in the treatment of reversible asthmatics. Quality of life of patients also improved with DCBT4567-Astha-15 drug treatment.

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