Journal of the American Medical Association, Original Investigation article

JAMA, October 24/31, 2023

A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial of 3797 patients from 124 hospitals in China within 24 hours of onset of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)

What’s Interesting about this article?

  • Traditional Chinese medicines are the most commonly prescribed therapeutic agents worldwide.
  • There are around 12,800 traditional Chinese medicines. Most are derived from plants or from mixtures of animal and mineral components.  Tongxinluo is a traditional Chinese medicine derived from a mixture of plants and animal products.
  • This study found significant clinical improvement with Tongxinluo at 30 days and 1-year.

JournalDoc Comments:

  • Very few Chinese medicines have been studied using Western world randomized controlled studies. This was a rigorous study by Chinese investigators that meets the standards of Evidence-based Medicine.
  • An accompanying editorial by Richard Bach, MD points out that ingredients in Tongxinluo include “the dried bodies of cockroaches, centipedes, leeches, cicadas and scorpions”.
  • It is not surprising that the major adverse drug reactions reported with Tongxinluo were stomach discomfort and nausea. However, the relative risk reduction of 37% for adverse outcomes is very impressive and warrants further RCTs.


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