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Effectiveness of Herbal Formula in Rheumatoid Arthritis


Clinical trial concludes that Yishen Tongbi decoction is equal to methotrexate in treating rheumatoid arthritis

Herbal supplements are readily available in the market these days for the treatment of various diseases. However, their safety and effectiveness are much-debated topics. A clinical trial compares the effectiveness of an herbal supplement called Yishen Tongbi decoction (YSTB) versus methotrexate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints and can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling. This can eventually lead to irreversible joint deformity and dysfunction. These symptoms are often accompanied by metabolic disorders and heart, lung, kidney, and other multi-organ complications, which can have a serious impact on human health. With a prevalence of 1% worldwide, rheumatoid arthritis is a common and persistent inflammatory autoimmune disease that is on the rise year by year.

Methotrexate is a commonly used drug to treat RA, but it may not be effective for all patients, plus it has side effects including nausea and liver damage. Yishen Tongbi decoction is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been frequently used to treat RA in China. However, no head-to-head comparison between the two drugs has been made in clinical trials.

Clinical Trial

This trial compares the safety and effectiveness of Yishen Tongbi deconation with methotrexate for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It involved 100 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were randomly assigned to either the Yishen Tongbi decoction group or the methotrexate group, and the goal was to determine if Yishen Tongbi decoction therapy had similar effectiveness to methotrexate in treating RA.

The patients in the Yishen Tongbi decoction group took the decoction once a day, while the patients in the methotrexate group took the drug once a week. The study lasted 24 weeks at the end of which data was collected on disease remission in both groups.

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The results of the clinical trial showed that 67.4% of patients in the YSTB group achieved the desired clinical outcomes compared to 57.1% of patients in the methotrexate group. These results indicate that the Yishen Tongbi decoction was not inferior to methotrexate in treating RA. The researchers measured the effectiveness of the treatments using several methods, including the clinical disease activity index response. Both treatments improved the patient's symptoms, and there were no significant differences between the two groups.
This clinical trial has important implications for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis as it adds to the growing evidence that YSTB is a safe and effective alternative to methotrexate in the treatment of RA.


The clinical trial suggests that Yishen Tongbi decoction is not inferior to methotrexate in treating active RA. This clinical trial provides evidence-based medicine in the treatment of RA and contributes to promoting phytomedicine use in RA patients. If you are considering using Yishen Tongbi decoction to treat your RA, it is important to talk to your doctor first and discuss the potential risks and benefits.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.