Recommendation ID
Herbal medicines:- Are Chinese and non-Chinese herbal medicines safe and effective as first-line therapy in the treatment of [Irritable bowel syndrome] (IBS), and which is the most effective and safe option?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- Reviews of herbal medicines suggest a positive effect on the control of IBS symptoms, but evidence is limited and not sufficient to make recommendations (eight comparisons from the six trials provide heterogeneous data, which are very difficult to interpret). A large randomised placebo-controlled trial is proposed, comparing Chinese and non-Chinese herbal medicines (both single and multiple compounds) that are available in the UK as standard preparations. Participants should be adults with a positive diagnosis of IBS, and they should be stratified by type of IBS and then randomised to treatments. The primary outcome should be global improvement in IBS symptoms, with symptom scores recorded using a validated scale. Health-related quality of life should also be measured, and adverse events recorded. Study outcomes should be assessed 12, 26 and 52 weeks post intervention.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management
Date issued
February 2008

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No