OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the classic Chinese herbal prescription Sanpian decoction for curing migraine.
METHODS: Scopus, PubMed, EMBASE, SPRINGER LINK, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Weipu Database and WanFang Database were searched from inception through January 2019 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the efficacy and safety of Sanpian decoction.
RESULTS: Fifteen RCTs with a total of 1377 participants were identified. Compared with the control drugs, Sanpian decoction and Sanpian decoction combined with Sibelium significantly improved the clinical efficacy separately (relative risk [RR] 4.19, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 2.91 to 6.04, P < 0.00001; RR 1.29, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.54, P = 0.003 separately); the Sanpian decoction significantly improved the visual analogue scale score (VAS) (mean differences [MD] -1.83, 95% CI -2.69 to -0.97, P < 0.0001), headache score (MD -3.77, 95% CI -7.20 to -0.34, P = 0.03) and reduced the frequency of headache attacks (MD -1.61, 95% CI -2.07 to -1.14, P < 0.00001) and the concentration of endothelin (ET) (MD -11.90, 95% CI -23.22 to -0.58, P = 0.04) when compared with control drugs. There were minor side effects related to Sanpian decoction which were well tolerated.
CONCLUSIONS: Sanpian decoction is of significant benefits and relative safety in treating migraine. However, more rigorous studies with larger sample sizes are needed due to methodological flaws and low quality of the included trials in this meta-analysis.
Keywords: Meta-analysis Migraine Sanpian decoction