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Randomized Controlled Trial
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Yukmijihwang-tang for the Treatment of Xerostomia in the Elderly: Study Protocol for a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Two-Center Trial

Randomized Controlled Trial

Yukmijihwang-tang for the Treatment of Xerostomia in the Elderly: Study Protocol for a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Two-Center Trial

Gajin Han et al. Trials.


Background: Xerostomia, a subjective sense of dry mouth, is not generally regarded a disease despite its high prevalence among the elderly, and therefore continues to impair affected patients' quality of life. In traditional Korean medicine, 'Yin-Deficiency' has been implicated in the pathogenesis of xerostomia among the elderly. Yukmijihwang-tang is a famous herbal prescription used to relieve 'Yin-Deficiency', and reportedly has antioxidant effects; therefore, it is postulated that Yukmijihwang-tang can be used to treat xerostomia in the elderly. However, to our knowledge, no clinical trial has been conducted on the effects of Yukmijihwang-tang on xerostomia. Thus, we designed a randomized clinical trial to investigate the effects and safety of Yukmijihwang-tang on xerostomia in the elderly. In addition, we will clarify the aforementioned assumption that 'Yin-Deficiency' is the major cause of xerostomia in the elderly by identifying a correlation between xerostomia and 'Yin-Deficiency'.

Methods/design: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will be carried out at two centers: Kyung Hee University Korean Medicine Hospital and Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong. We will recruit 96 subjects aged 60-80 years who have experienced xerostomia for 3 months prior to participation. Subjects who present with score >40 on the visual analogue scale for xerostomia and unstimulated salivary flow rate under 0.3mL/min will be included and the randomization will be carried out by an independent statistician by using a random number creation program. The subjects and all researchers except the statistician will be blinded to the group assignment. Yukmijihwang-tang or placebo will be administered to each group for 8 weeks. The primary outcome is change in the scores for the visual analogue scale for xerostomia and the dry mouth symptom questionnaire from 0 to 8 weeks.

Discussion: It will be assessed whether Yukmijihwang-tang can be used as a new herbal treatment for xerostomia in the elderly by demonstrating its therapeutic effects in a well-designed clinical trial.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT01579877.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Flow chart of the study.

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