Japanese Herbal Remedies Found to Be Effective Add-On Drug Therapy for LUTS Patients with Cold Sensitivity

Japanese Herbal Remedies Found to Be Effective Add-On Drug Therapy for LUTS Patients with Cold Sensitivity

A collaborative study led by researchers at the Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital, Japan, found two Japanese traditional herbal medicines, Hachimi-jio-gan and Gosha-jinki-gan, of benefit to people with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and cold sensitivity who are resistant to α1-blockers or antimuscarinic therapies.

The study, “Clinical efficacy and tolerability (LUTS) of two Japanese traditional herbal medicines, Hachimi-jio-gan and Gosha-jinki-gan, for lower urinary tract symptoms with cold sensitivity,” was published in the J Tradit Complement Med.

Treatment options for LUTS, whose incidence gradually increases with age, range from behavioral modification like bladder training to the use of drugs such as antimuscarinic agents and α1-blockers.

In Japan, complex formulations containing traditional herbal medicines are widely utilized in treating LUTS patients. Among these, Hachimi-jio-gan (HJG) and Gosha-jinki-gan (GJG) have been shown to be efficient for LUTS when combined with standard drug treatments (antimuscarinic agents or α1-blockers). LUTS has numerous symptoms, but the researchers focused on cold sensitivity because it is a key indication in herbal medicines.

A total of 60 patients with LUTS and cold sensitivity, and who were unresponsive to α1-blockers or antimuscarinic treatments, participated in the study evaluating the efficacy and safety of HJG and GJG as add-on therapies. Patients received a mixture of HJG or GJG, in addition to α1-blockers or antimuscarinic drugs, for 12 weeks. They were then examined using the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), IPSS-Quality of Life (IPSS-QOL), Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Impact Index (BII), uroflowmetry (UFM), frequency volume chart (FVC), and urinary 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), among other parameters.

Results showed significant improvement in the IPSS, IPSS-QOL, BII, and the number of nocturnal voids. No change in the maximal urinary flow rate and post-void residual urine were observed. When compared to the GJG group, HJG induced greater statistical improvement in the 8-OHdG, indicative of lower in vivo oxidative DNA damage. Also, the HJG mixture was found to possess anti-oxidative activity, a point researchers thought merited long-term clinical study. Mild side effects were recorded in 8.3 percent of patients.

“The HJG and Japanese herbal formulations might have the potential to provide additional therapeutic effects in treating cold stress–exacerbated LUTS resistant to α1-blockers or antimuscarinic drugs,” the scientists wrote.  “However, further clinical investigations are required to elucidate their precise mechanisms.”

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Malika Ammam received her MS degree from the University of Pierre et Marie CURIE in July 2002 and her PhD from the University of Paris Sud XI, France in September 2005. From 2006 to 2007, she worked as a research fellow at the University of Kansas in collaboration with Pinnacle Technology Inc. (USA). From 2007 to 2010, she was a research associate at KU Leuven, Belgium. From 2010 to 2012, she worked at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in collaboration with Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corporation, Canada. She held a prestigious Rosalind Franklin fellowship and resigned in 2015. Now, she is a freelancer.

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