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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 9436352, 11 pages
Review Article

Clinical Effects and Safety of Zhi Sou San for Cough: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials

1Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, China
2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Jiangsu Province Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jia Zhu; moc.361@jzjnsj

Received 16 April 2017; Accepted 29 May 2017; Published 17 July 2017

Academic Editor: Rentian Wu

Copyright © 2017 Ningchang Cheng 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.


Introduction. Zhi Sou San (ZSS), a traditional Chinese prescription, has been widely applied in treating cough. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of ZSS for cough. Methods. We searched relevant articles up to 5 March 2017 in seven electronic databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, PubMed, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Cqvip Database (VIP), China Biology Medicine disc (CBM), and Wanfang Data. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible, regardless of blinding. The primary outcome was the total effective rate. Results. Forty-six RCTs with a total of 4007 participants were identified. Compared with western medicine, ZSS significantly improved the total effective rate (OR: 4.45; 95% CI: 3.62–5.47) and the pulmonary function in terms of FEV1 (OR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.24–0.46) and decreased the adverse reactions (OR: 0.05; 95% CI: 0.02–0.01) and the recurrence rate (OR: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.16–0.57). However, there was no significant improvement in the cough symptom score comparing ZSS with western medicine. Conclusions. This meta-analysis shows that ZSS has significant additional benefits and relative safety in treating cough. However, more rigorously designed investigations and studies, with large sample sizes, are needed because of the methodological flaws and low quality of the included trials in this meta-analysis.