Panax Ginseng Compared to Amitriptyline and Placebo for Fibromyalgia

Editor’s Comment:  Panax ginseng is a variety of ginseng commonly used in herbal medicine.  Forms of Panax ginseng include white ginseng and red ginseng.  The active components in Panax Ginseng support the production of an adrenal hormone, to promote motivation and vitality.

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Effects of Panax ginseng extract in patients with fibromyalgia: a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

By Alessandra S. Braz, et al. 

Abstract:

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of an extract of Panax ginseng in patients with fibromyalgia.

A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial was carried out over 12 weeks to compare the effects of P. ginseng (100 mg/d) with amitriptyline (25 mg/d) and placebo in 38 patients with fibromyalgia:

  • 13 in Group I (amitriptyline),

  • 13 in Group II (placebo), and

  • 12 in Group III (P. ginseng).

Ratings on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) revealed a reduction in pain in the P. ginseng group (p < .0001), an improvement in fatigue (p < .0001) and an improvement in sleep (p < .001), with respect to baseline characteristics, but there were no differences between the three groups.

With respect to anxiety, improvements occurred in the P. ginseng group compared to baseline (p < .0001); however, amitriptyline treatment resulted in significantly greater improvements (p < .05). P. ginseng reduced the number of tender points and improved patients' quality of life (using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire – FIQ); however, there were no differences between groups.

The beneficial effects experienced by patients for all parameters suggest a need for further studies to be performed on the tolerability and efficacy of this phytotherapic as a complementary therapy for fibromyalgia.

Source: Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, March 2013. By Alessandra S. Braz, Liana Clébia S. Morais, Ana Patríca Paula, Margareth F. F. M. DinizI Reinaldo N. Almeida. Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Brazil.

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4 thoughts on “Panax Ginseng Compared to Amitriptyline and Placebo for Fibromyalgia”

  1. IanH says:

    I cannot understand the results of this report.
    “no differences between the groups means that placebo was as good?
    Can someone make sense of this?

  2. neoplus1 says:

    Their conclusions sound as if the ginseng did better than placebo, but it didn’t. The conclusion should read that the ginseng did no better than placebo in treating symptoms of fibromyalgia.

  3. ameilie73 says:

    Looks like the graph shows that there were tiny variants over what one did better during what week, as the study ran for 2 months. But overall the ginseng did no better than placebo. So they want to run a larger study over longer period to see if the variants over each weeks become greater with time. Lol, i think thats it.

    1. 1st*r8 says:

      We poor fibromyalgia patients are no better off than guinea pigs until fibromyalgia can be properly understood. Until then we are targets for all kinds of snake oil like this, which adds up to tons of stupid herbal bottles lining the bathroom cabinet and tons of money thrown away.
      SNAKE OIL!! Buyers beware!
      1st*r8

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