Background: Qin Xiang Qing Jie an oral solution containing various Chinese herbs, is indicated for pediatric upper respiratory tract infections. The treatment of influenza also shows potential advantages in shortening the duration of illness and improving symptoms. However, there is still a lack of high-quality clinical evidence to support this. The trial was to explore the efficacy and safety of Qin Xiang Qing Jie for treating pediatric influenza and provide an evidence-based basis for expanding its applicability.
Methods: A randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, positive-controlled, multicenter clinical trial was conducted in 14 hospitals in China. Children aged 1-13 years with influenza and “exterior and interior heat syndromes” as defined by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) were randomly assigned to two groups with 1:1 radio. Children in the test group received Qin Xiang Qing Jie oral solution and oseltamivir simulant, while the control group received oseltamivir phosphate granules and Qin Xiang Qing Jie simulant.
The duration of treatment was five days, followed by a two-day follow-up period. The primary endpoint was the clinical recovery time. Secondary endpoints included the time to defervescence, incidences of complications and severe or critical influenza, negative conversion rate, improvement of TCM syndromes, and safety profiles of the therapeutics, which mainly contained the adverse clinical events and adverse drug reactions.
Results: A total of 231 children were randomized to either the Qin Xiang Qing Jie (n=117) or oseltamivir (n=114) group. The FAS and PPS results showed that both groups experienced a median clinical recovery time of three days (P>0.05). The median time to defervescence of both groups were 36 hours in FAS and PPS (P>0.05), and two groups did not differ in terms of the other secondary endpoints (P>0.05).
14 patients (12.39%) in the Qin Xiang Qing Jie group and 14 patients (12.50%) in the oseltamivir group reported at least one adverse event, respectively. One serious adverse event occurred in the Qin Xiang Qing Jie group. There was no significant difference in the incidence of adverse events or adverse drug reactions between the groups.
Conclusions: The efficacy of Qin Xiang Qing Jie oral solution was comparable to that of oseltamivir for treating influenza in children, with an acceptable safety profile.