Efficacy of Huoxiang Zhengqi dropping pills and Lianhua Qingwen granules in treatment of COVID-19: A randomized controlled trial
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BACKGROUND: With the global epidemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), China has made progress in the prevention and control of the epidemic, and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has played a key role in dealing with the disease's effects on the respiratory system. This randomized controlled clinical trial evaluated the clinical efficacy and prognosis of Huoxiang Zhengqi dropping pills and Lianhua Qingwen granules in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: A total of 283 patients participated in this clinical trial, and participants were randomly assigned to receive either 1) Huoxiang Zhengqi dropping pills and Lianhua Qingwen granules or 2) Linahua granules, both combined with western medicine, or 3) western medicine alone for 14 days. At the end of the trial, the improvement and resolution rates of clinical symptoms and the rate of patients who progressed to severe disease status were evaluated. RESULTS: After 14 days of treatment, there was no significant difference in the improvement rate of clinical symptoms among the three groups (P > 0.05). Huoxiang Zhengqi dropping pills combined with Lianhua Qingwen granules has advantages in the treatment of nausea, vomiting and limb soreness. During treatment, all participants were treated with western medicine, and there was a significant difference in the use of macrolides among the three groups (P < 0.05). Specifically, the utilization rate of antibiotics in the western medicine group was significantly greater than that of the other two groups. Among the 182 diagnosed patients who completed this clinical trial, 13 patients progressed to severe disease, including one case in the Huoxiang + Lianhua group (1.6 %), five cases in the Lianhua group (8.6 %), and seven cases in the western medicine group (11.1 %). There was no statistical differences in this rate among the three groups (P > 0.05). However, the proportion of patients who progressed to severe disease in the Huoxiang + Lianhua group was the lowest, suggesting that the combination of TCM with western medicine has a potential advantage in improving the prognosis of patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSION: The use of Huoxiang Zhengqi dropping pills and Lianhua Qingwen granules combined with western medicine may have clinical advantages for COVID-19 patients in improving clinical symptoms, reducing utilization rate of anti-infective drugs, and improving patient prognosis, which could pave the way for the use of complementary medicine in treating this infection.
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