Clinical outcomes of traditional Chinese medicine compound formula in treating sleep-disordered breathing patients

Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(1):11-24. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X12500024.


Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a prevalent affliction, which can range from simple snoring to severely obstructive sleep apnea. Compared to current treatment options of SDB, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) provides a noninvasive way to relieve SDB-related symptoms and deaths. The purpose of this retrospective study was to observe the progression of adult SDB patients who had taken compound formula SZ + NUH (concentrated herbal granules) for four weeks. Depending on subjects' individual needs, minor additions of formulas or single herbs were allowed. We found a significant amount of relief from snoring among the 118 enrolled subjects, according to before-after scores observed through the Snore Outcome Survey (SOS). Furthermore, as projected from the moderate linear correlation in before-after scores, we inferred that those cases with more severe snoring at baseline had greater improvement after treatment. Excessive daytime sleepiness was also significantly improved according to the results of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Assessment, using the SF-36 (Taiwanese version) revealed possible benefits of SZ + NUH in improving multiple facets of subjects' quality of life. During treatment, no significant side effects occurred. In conclusion, the TCM compound formula based on SZ + NUH could be a safe and effective option for SDB treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / drug therapy*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Snoring / drug therapy*
  • Taiwan


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal