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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 732562, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/732562
Review Article

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Acute Mountain Sickness: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

1Department of Cardiology, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 5 Beixiange, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, China
2Department of Gastroenterology, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China

Received 30 September 2013; Revised 12 November 2013; Accepted 12 November 2013

Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher

Copyright © 2013 Jie Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. We aimed to assess the current clinical evidence of Chinese herbal medicine for AMS. Methods. Seven electronic databases were searched until January 2013. We included randomized clinical trials testing Chinese herbal medicine against placebo, no drugs, Western drugs, or a combination of routine treatment drugs against routine treatment drugs. Study selection, data extraction, quality assessment, and data analyses were conducted according to Cochrane standards. Results. Nine randomized trials were included. The methodological quality of the included trials was evaluated as low. Two trials compared prescriptions of Chinese formula used alone with Western drugs. A meta-analysis showed a beneficial effect in decreasing the score of AMS (MD: −2.23 [−3.98, −0.49], ). Only one trial compared prescriptions of Chinese formula used alone with no drugs. A meta-analysis showed a significant beneficial effect in decreasing the score of AMS (MD: −6.00 [−6.45, −5.55], ). Four trials compared Chinese formula used alone with placebo. A meta-analysis also showed a significant beneficial effect in decreasing the score of AMS (MD: −1.10 [−1.64, −0.55], ). Two trials compared the combination of Chinese formula plus routine treatment drugs with routine treatment drugs. A meta-analysis showed a beneficial effect in decreasing the score of AMS (MD: −5.99 [−11.11, −0.86], ). Conclusions. No firm conclusion on the effectiveness and safety of Chinese herbal medicine for AMS can be made. More rigorous high-quality trials are required to generate a high level of evidence and to confirm the results.