Efficacy evaluation of Chinese herbal medicine, VGH-BPH1, for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and crossover study

Diem Ngoc Hong Tran, Hsin Fu Yeh, William J. Huang, Pei Wen Wu, Ying Ju Liao, Shinn Jang Hwang, Yen Ying Kung, Jen Lin Yang, Ta Peng Wu, Chung-Hua Hsu, Fang-Pey Chen

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can affect quality of life and cause various complications. Previous studies have suggested that Chinese herbal medicine can alleviate symptoms in patients with BPH. This study aimed to investigate whether the Chinese herbal medicine prescription VGH-BPH1 can alleviate BPH symptoms when used as an add-on treatment. METHODS: In this crossover, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, patients with BPH were randomly segregated into two groups: group A received VGH-BPH1, and group B received a placebo for 8 weeks. Subsequently, after a 2-week wash-out period, the two groups were switched to the opposite treatment for another 8 weeks. The International Prostate Symptoms Score and Aging Male Symptoms Score were adopted as the primary outcomes to assess improvement in BPH and patient quality of life. The secondary outcomes were the International Index of Erectile Function, Constitution Chinese Medicine Questionnaire, uroflowmetry results, and postvoid residual urine volume. RESULTS: VGH-BPH1 treatment significantly decreased the International Prostate Symptoms Score total score (p = 0.027); however, no significant difference was observed between the treatment and placebo groups. The Aging Male Symptoms Score "joint pain and muscular ache" score in the VGH-BPH1 group was significantly lower than that of the placebo group (p = 0.022). The "physical exhaustion" score also exhibited a decreasing trend when both groups were compared (p = 0.057). CONCLUSION: Although VGH-BPH1 treatment did not outperform the placebo in terms of improving BPH symptoms, it resulted in improvement in several quality of life indicators when relative to the placebo. Future research using a larger sample size with appropriate amendments to the protocol should be conducted to further investigate the effects of VGH-BPH1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-646
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Volume85
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

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