Objective This prospective observational postmarketing multicentre study was performed to collect data on the clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability of a licensed herbal combination of myrrh, coffee charcoal and chamomile extracts in patients with symptoms of acute diarrhoea.
Material and methods Patients aged 12 years and above with symptoms of acute diarrhoea due to acute inflammatory disorders (AID) of the gastrointestinal tract, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were treated with the herbal preparation either as monotherapy, add-on therapy or with other therapies. The primary outcome parameter was the pre-post change of total mean symptom score. Secondary outcome parameters were changes of score of single symptoms, physician's assessment of the clinical course and efficacy, and patient's satisfaction.
Results 1062 patients (mean age 43.2±17.8 years, range 12–89, 42.3% men) were included. A decrease of the overall mean total symptom score was observed in all treatment groups (monotreatment: 1.33±0.51 to 0.15±0.34, add-on treatment: 1.39±0.41 to 0.30±0.37, other therapy: 1.31±0.43 to 0.24±0.33). No significant differences between three treatment options were observed within AID and IBD groups. However, in the IBS group, monotreatment with the herbal preparation resulted in a significantly better outcome when compared to either add-on treatment (mean difference 0.140; 95% CI 0.036 to 0.245; p=0.009) or other therapy (mean difference 0.217; 95% CI 0.085 to 0.349; p=0.001). Secondary efficacy criteria showed comparable results between different treatment options in the respective disorder groups. Patient satisfaction was generally higher with monotreatment in the AID and IBS groups, while add-on treatment was preferred in the IBD group.
Conclusions The combination of myrrh, coffee charcoal and chamomile flower extract is effective, well tolerated and safe for use in patients with symptoms of acute diarrhoea. The effects are comparable to conventional therapies used in routine care.
- INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISORDERS
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
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