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Research on Chinese medicine, UTI, and overactive bladder

Last updated: 11 March, 2017
by Steven Clavey, Traditional Chinese Gynaecology

Chinese herbal medicine for treating recurrent urinary tract infections in women.

Chinese Herbal Medicine as an independent intervention or in conjunction with antibiotics may be beneficial for treating recurrent UTIs during the acute phase of infection and may reduce the recurrent UTI incidence for at least six months post-treatment.”

1. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jun 4;(6):CD010446. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010446.pub2.

Flower A, Wang LQ, Lewith G, Liu JP, Li Q.

Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit, Department of Primary Care, University of Southampton, Southampton, Sussex, UK, BN8 5SG.

BACKGROUND: Acute urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common bacterial infection that affects 40% to 50% of women. Between 20% and 30% of women who have had a UTI will experience a recurrence, and around 25% will develop ongoing recurrent episodes with implications for individual well-being and healthcare costs. Prophylactic antibiotics can prevent recurrent UTIs but there are growing concerns about microbial resistance, side effects from treatment and lack of long-term benefit. Consequently, alternative treatments are being investigated. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has a recorded history of treating UTI symptoms and more recent research suggests a potential role in the management of recurrent UTIs. This review aimed to evaluate CHM for recurrent UTI.

OBJECTIVES: This review assessed the benefits and harms of CHM for the treatment of recurrent UTIs in adult women, both as a stand-alone therapy and in conjunction with other pharmaceutical interventions.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant’s Specialised Register to 7 May 2015 through contact with the Trials Search Co-ordinator, using search terms relevant to this review. We also searched AMED, CINAHL and the Chinese language electronic databases Chinese BioMedical Literature Database (CBM), China Network on Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), VIP and Wan Fang Databases to July 2014.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing treatments using CHM with either an inactive placebo or conventional biomedical treatment. RCTs comparing different CHM strategies and treatments were eligible for inclusion. Quasi-randomised studies were excluded.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data extraction was carried out independently by two authors. Where more than one publication of one study existed, these were grouped and the publication with the most complete data was used in the analyses. Where relevant outcomes were only published in earlier versions these data were used. All meta-analyses were performed using relative risk (RR) for dichotomous outcomes with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

MAIN RESULTS: We included seven RCTs that involved a total of 542 women; of these, five recruited post-menopausal women (aged from 56 to 70 years) (422 women). We assessed all studies to be at high risk of bias. Meta-analyses comparing the overall effectiveness of treatments during acute phases of infection and rates of recurrence were conducted. Analysis of three studies involving 282 women that looked at CHM versus antibiotics suggested that CHM had a higher rate of effectiveness for acute UTI (RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.11 to 33) and reduced recurrent UTI rates (RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.82). Analysis of two studies involving 120 women that compared CHM plus antibiotics versus antibiotics alone found the combined intervention had a higher rate of effectiveness for acute UTI (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.47) and resulted in lower rates of recurrent infection six months after the study (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.80).One study comparing different CHM treatments found Er Xian Tang was more effective in treating acute infection in post-menopausal women than San Jin Pian (80 women: RR 1.28, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.57). Analysis showed that active CHM treatments specifically formulated for recurrent UTI were more effective in reducing infection incidence than generic CHM treatments that were more commonly used for acute UTI (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.77).Only two studies undertook to report adverse events; neither reported the occurrence of any adverse events.

AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS:

Evidence from seven small studies suggested that CHM as an independent intervention or in conjunction with antibiotics may be beneficial for treating recurrent UTIs during the acute phase of infection and may reduce the recurrent UTI incidence for at least six months post-treatment. CHM treatments specifically formulated for recurrent UTI may be more effective than herbal treatments designed to treat acute UTI. However, the small number and poor quality of the included studies meant that it was not possible to formulate robust conclusions on the use of CHM for recurrent UTI in women either alone or as an adjunct to antibiotics.

PMID: 26040964 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

 

Acupuncture for adults with overactive bladder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Acupuncture might have effect in decreasing the number of micturition episodes, incontinence episodes, and nocturia episodes.”

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Feb;97(8):e9838. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000009838.

Zhao Y, Zhou J, Mo Q, Wang Y, Yu J, Liu Z.

BACKGROUND: Overactive bladder is stated as the occurrence of urinary urgency which will cause negative impacts and decrease patients’ health-related quality of life. The aim of this systematic review is to assess the efficiency and safety of acupuncture for adults with overactive bladder (OAB) comparing with sham-acupuncture, drugs, and acupuncture plus drugs.

METHODS: We independently searched 9 databases from beginning to August 15, 2017. Two writers extracted data at the same time independently. Study outcomes were calculated by standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and mean difference (MD) with 95% CIs.

RESULTS: Ten randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 794 patients were included in this systematic review. The combined results showed that electroacupuncture (EA) may be more effective than sham electroacupuncture (sham EA) in improving the 24-hour nocturia episodes and EA may enhance tolterodine for relieving voiding symptoms and enhancing patients’ quality of life. However, more trials with high quality and larger sample sizes will be needed in the future to provide sufficient evidence. Only 15 of 794 OAB patients from the included studies reported mild adverse reactions related to EA, therefore, acupuncture is safe for treating OAB.

CONCLUSION:

Acupuncture might have effect in decreasing the number of micturition episodes, incontinence episodes, and nocturia episodes. However, the evidence is insufficient to show the effect using acupuncture alone or the additional effect to drugs in treating OAB.

 

Acupuncture for overactive bladder in female adults: a randomized controlled trial.

This randomized controlled trial demonstrates that acupuncture is safe with significant improvements in patient assessment of overactive bladder symptoms and may be considered a clinically alternative treatment for overactive bladder in female adult.

World J Urol. 2015 Sep;33(9):1303-8. doi: 10.1007/s00345-014-1440-0. Epub 2014 Nov 16.

Yuan Z, He C, Yan S, Huang D, Wang H, Tang W.

PURPOSE: To assess the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating female adult with overactive bladder.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: After we excluded other causes for storage symptoms, a total of 240 consecutive female patients with overactive bladder were enrolled and completed all aspects of this prospective randomized controlled trial, of which 118 cases were randomly assigned to receive a weekly acupuncture treatment (intervention group), while the other 122 cases were given a pharmacological treatment of oral tolterodine tartrate 2 mg twice daily (control group) for 4 weeks. Data on urgency, incontinence, micturition frequency, nocturia episodes and voided volume were collected and statistically analyzed before and after 4 weekly acupuncture treatments or 4 weeks’ pharmacological treatment using a 3-day micturition diary.

RESULTS: The two groups of female patients with overactive bladder were given treatment with weekly acupuncture (n = 118), oral tolterodine tartrate (n = 122) for 4 weeks respectively. At weeks 4, subjects in both intervention and control groups had significant decreases in number of urinary urgency episodes, incontinence episodes, daytime frequency, nocturia episodes and increase in volume voided per micturition without a significant difference in the changes of overactive bladder symptoms between the groups. There were no serious adverse events during the study.

CONCLUSIONS:

This randomized controlled trial demonstrates that acupuncture is safe with significant improvements in patient assessment of overactive bladder symptoms and may be considered a clinically alternative treatment for overactive bladder in female adult.

 

 

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