Meta-analysis: phytotherapy of functional dyspepsia with the herbal drug preparation STW 5 (Iberogast)

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Dec;20(11-12):1279-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2004.02275.x.


Background: Despite a long-standing use of herbal drugs with dyspeptic symptoms, little attention has been paid to their clinical evaluation.

Aim: To assess efficacy and safety of the herbal drug preparation STW 5 (containing, e.g. Iberis, peppermint, chamomile) in the treatment of functional dyspepsia.

Methods: Research in electronic databases, consultation of experts and of the producer identified STW 5 (Iberogast) as descriptor in six randomized-controlled trials. The raw data of three placebo-controlled studies which met the selection criteria, were reanalysed and pooled for meta-analysis; one reference-controlled study supported the safety analysis (STW 5: n = 199, control: n = 198).

Results: Pooled data showed verum (n = 138) to be more effective than placebo (n = 135) with regard to the severity of the most bothersome gastrointestinal symptom (P-value: 0.001, odds ratio: 0.22, 95% CI: 0.11-0.47). A fourth randomized-controlled trial showed no significant difference between STW 5 and cisapride. As to safety, adverse events were similar with verum and placebo; no serious adverse events occurred.

Discussions: From the point of view of efficacy and safety, the herbal medicinal product STW 5 appears to be a valid therapeutic option for patients seeking phytotherapy for their symptoms of functional dyspepsia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dyspepsia / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Preparations
  • iberogast