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Common Chinese herbal compound touts BP-lowering effect

15 Nov 2020

Gastrodia-uncaria granules (GUG), a Chinese herbal formula, may lower blood pressure (BP) levels in patients with masked hypertension, according to a study.

The study included 251 patients (mean age, 50.4 years; 53.4 percent male; mean body mass index, 24.5 kg/m2) with an office BP averaging 129/82 mm Hg and daytime BP of 135/89 mm Hg. Of these patients, 2.8 percent had cardiovascular disease, 1.6 percent had diabetes, and 30.7 percent were smokers.

The patients were randomly assigned to receive GUG (n=126) or placebo (n=125) at 5–10 g twice daily for 4 weeks.

In the intention-to-treat analysis, the GUG group exhibited a greater decrease in daytime BP than the placebo group at treatment conclusion (mean change, –5.44/–3.39 vs –2.91/–1.60 mm Hg). The difference was clinically meaningful (2.52/1.79 mm Hg; p≤0.025).

The Chinese herbal compound produced significantly greater reductions in 24-hour BP (mean difference vs placebo, 2.33/1.49 mm Hg; p≤0.012). However, changes in the night-time BP did not differ relative to that with placebo (0.31/0.19 mm Hg; p≥0.16); this was despite the significant improvement observed with GUG (1.82/1.30 mm Hg; p<0.050).

Results of the per-protocol analysis in 229 patients produced similar results.

In terms of safety, only a single patient who received the Chinese herbal compound experienced sleepiness during the day. There was no serious adverse event recorded.

The findings warrant further investigation into whether the use of GUG could be expanded to other subtypes of hypertension, such as sustained or isolated office hypertension, and whether it could improve target organ damage and prognosis related to hypertension.

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