A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical trial of Xiehuang Jiejing granule in the treatment of cough variant asthma in children
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BACKGROUND: Cough variant asthma (CVA), also called concealed asthma or allergic asthma, is the most common cause of chronic cough in children. The disorder is mainly characterized by a nonproductive dry cough associated with a high recurrence rate that is conventionally treated with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, cough suppressants, or expectorants. For millennia, Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been used widely in China to treat pediatric CVA cases, although high-quality evidence of CHM efficacy is lacking. In this study, the effectiveness and safety of Xiehuangjiejing (XHJJ) granule will be evaluated when used alone to treat children with CVA. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled multicenter trial will be conducted over the course of 2 weeks. A total of 180 CVA patients of ages between 4 and 7 years old will be randomly assigned to the experimental group (XHJJ granules, 4.5 g administered 3 times daily) or control group (matched placebo, 4.5 g administered 3 times daily) in a 2:1 ratio based on subject number per group, respectively. The trial will consist of a 7-day medical interventional stage and a 7-day follow-up stage. On day 7 of the follow-up stage, an evaluation of all subjects will be carried out to assess cough symptom score as the primary outcome and several secondary outcomes, including TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) syndrome score, lung function, and dosage of salbutamol aerosol inhaler therapy. Safety assessments will also be evaluated during the trial. DISCUSSION: The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness and safety of Xiehuangjiejing (XHJJ) granule using a trial protocol designed to yield high-quality, statistically robust results for use in evaluating CHM as a treatment for CVA in children.
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