Introduction. In the present meta-analysis, we aimed to determine the effects of adjuvant treatment with Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) on antidiabetic agents having additional benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods. Randomized controlled trials were identified by searching the Cochrane Library, PUBMED, EMBASE, MEDLINE, the China National Knowledge Internet, Web of Science, Global Health, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts and the China biology medicine, Wanfang, and VIP databases. The intervention group received CHM as add-on treatment to antidiabetic agents therapy, and the control group received placebos in addition to antidiabetic agents or antidiabetic agents alone. We assessed pooled data, including weighted mean differences and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using a random-effects model.
Results. A total of 125 randomized controlled trials were included. 10 articles were included based on literature screening. All trials contrasted Chinese herbal medicines or Chinese herbal medicines + antidiabetic agents with placebo or antidiabetic agents + placebo and included a total of 2004 individuals with T2DM. All selected trials displayed evidence of high methodological quality and possessed a low risk of bias. Meta-analysis of the trials demonstrated that Chinese herbal medicines resulted in a more favorable blood glucose profile in contrast to placebo (P<0.05). The total efficacy rate differed significantly between the two groups (P<0.001). All ten included studies reported the occurrence of tolerable adverse effects.
Conclusions. The results showed that in the intervention group, greater reductions were achieved for glucose control and body weight. The combined use of drugs improves the curative effect and has fewer adverse events and has additional benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes.
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