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Papers of the Week

2022 May 28

Medicina (Kaunas)



Application of Kampo Medicines for Treatment of General Fatigue Due to Long COVID.


Tokumasu K, Ueda K, Honda H, Sunada N, Sakurada Y, Matsuda Y, Nakano Y, Hasegawa T, Otsuka Y, Obika M, Hagiya H, Kataoka H, Otsuka F
Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 May 28; 58(6).
PMID: 35743993.


Evidence regarding treatment for the acute phase of COVID-19 has been accumulating, but specific treatment for long COVID/post-COVID-19 condition has not yet been established. Treatment with herbal medicine might be one treatment option for long COVID, but there has been little research on the effectiveness of herbal medicine for long COVID. The aim of this study was to clarify the prescription patterns of Kampo medicines, which are herbal medicines that originated in China and were developed in Japan, for the treatment of general fatigue due to long COVID. A retrospective descriptive study was performed for patients who visited a COVID-19 aftercare clinic established in Okayama University Hospital during the period from Feb 2021 to Dec 2021 with a focus on symptoms accompanying general fatigue and prescriptions of Kampo medicine. Among the clinical data obtained from medical records of 195 patients, clinical data for 102 patients with general fatigue and accompanying symptoms were analyzed. The patients had various symptoms, and the most frequent symptoms accompanying general fatigue were dysosmia, dysgeusia, headache, insomnia, dyspnea, and hair loss. Prescriptions of Kampo medicine accounted for 24.1% of the total prescriptions ( = 609). The most frequently prescribed Kampo medicine was hochuekkito (71.6%) and other prescribed Kampo medicines were tokishakuyakusan, ryokeijutsukanto, juzentaihoto, hangekobokuto, kakkonto, ninjin'yoeito, goreisan, rikkunshito, and keishibukuryogan. Since the pathophysiology of general fatigue after an infectious disease is, in general, considered a qi deficiency in Kampo medicine, treatments with such compensation agents can be the major prescription as a complement for the qi. In conclusion, Kampo medicine can be one of the main pharmacological treatments for long COVID accompanying general fatigue.