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TCM Outperforms Conventional Drug for Kids’ Respiratory Infections

A team of Chinese researchers found that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was more effective at treating recurrent respiratory tract infections (RRTIs) in children compared to a commonly used drug. 

Study Details

Published in a recent issue of Pediatric Investigation, the study focused on Yupingfeng (YPF), a patented Chinese herbal formula available as compounded granules, and pidotimod, a prescription drug often used to resolve respiratory infections in kids. “We wanted to perform a rigorous investigation to understand the therapeutic benefits of YPF. This is why we conducted a large-scale RCT, the gold standard of clinical studies, and enrolled patients not from a single center but from multiple hospitals,” says lead researcher Prof. Kunling Shen. 

The 8-week study, which involved 351 kids with RRTIs (aged 2–6), was organized into three categories: children taking YPF, those given the drug pidotimod, and a placebo group. At the end of the study, researchers looked at the proportion of patients in whom the frequency of infections was reduced to average levels. There were 52 weeks of follow-up as well. 


Results showed that the proportion of RRTIs returning to normal levels was 73 percent in the YPF group, 67 percent among those taking pidotimod, and just 39 percent in those given a placebo. The YPF and pidotimod group also produced a greater reduction in RRTIs during the follow-up period. Plus, the safety profile was similar across all three groups. In particular, there were no safety issues associated with YPF.

The strength of our study lies in its rigorous design. It is the largest multi-center study to prove that YPF, a TCM, can be as effective as an allopathic drug in treating RRTIs. It is a major step forward in sharing the benefits of TCM with the world,” says Prof. Rong Ma, who co-led the study with Prof. Shen.


In conclusion, this YPF-RRTI study has shown that YPF granules are effective and safe for the treatment of children with RRTI. 



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