COVID-19 Evidence Alerts
from McMaster PLUSTM

Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)

Treatment Liu M, Gao Y, Yuan Y, et al. Efficacy and safety of herbal medicine (Lianhuaqingwen) for treating COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Integr Med Res. 2021 Mar;10(1):100644. doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2020.100644. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Background: Lianhuaqingwen (LH) has been proven effective for influenza. However, the promotion of LH for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 remains controversial. Therefore, our study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of Lianhuaqingwen (LH) in treating patients with COVID-19 by a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods: We conducted the literature search using six electronic databases from December 1, 2019, to June 2, 2020. Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was used to assess the quality of randomized controlled trials. Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to assess the quality of case control studies. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality checklist was used to assess the quality of case series. All analyses were conducted by RevMan 5.3. For outcomes that could not be meta-analyzed were performed a descriptive analysis.

Results: Eight studies with 924 patients were included. Three studies were RCTs, three were case control studies, and two were case series. The quality of the included studies was poor. Compared with patients treated by conventional treatment, patients treated by LH combined with conventional treatment have a higher overall effective rate (RR?=?1.16, 95%CIs: 1.04~1.30, P?=?0.01) and CT recovery rate (RR=1.21, 95%CIs: 1.02~1.43, P?=?0.03). Patients of LH groups have a lower incidence of diarrhea (5.6% vs.13.4%), and have statistically significant (P?=?0.026). But the rate of abnormal liver function in the combined medication group is higher than that in the single LH group.

Conclusion: LH combined with conventional treatment seems to be more effective for patients with mild or ordinary COVID-19.

Discipline / Specialty Area Score
Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP)
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General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)
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Infectious Disease
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