Background: Bronchial asthma being a chronic inflammatory disease of airways has numerous treatment options none of which have disease modifying properties. Curcumin, a yellow dietary pigment has varied pharmacological activities, prominent among which is an anti-inflammatory activity which may be crucial in bronchial asthma as has been proved by various in vitro and in vivo animal studies.
Aims: To determine the efficacy and safety of curcumin as an 'add-on' therapy in patients of bronchial asthma.
Settings and design: This study was conducted on 77 patients of mild to moderate Bronchial asthma who had a documented positive bronchodilator reversibility test with ≥15% improvement in forced expiratory volume one second (FEV1).
Materials and methods: Seventy seven patients were recruited for the study and randomized into either of the two groups, but 17 patients were lost to follow up. Thus Group A - Receiving standard therapy for bronchial asthma for 30d (n=30) and Group B - Receiving standard therapy for bronchial asthma + Cap Curcumin 500mg BD daily for 30d (n=30). The predefined primary endpoints were clinical assessments of dyspnoea, wheezing, cough, chest tightness and nocturnal symptoms, change in the pre-bronchodilator FEV1 during the treatment and hematological improvement. The secondary end points were assessed by the change in the post-bronchodilator FEV1, C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration and incidence of adverse events.
Statistical analysis used: The data was analysed by SPSS 17.0 software using one-way ANOVA or Paired t-test.
Results and conclusion: The results showed that curcumin capsules help in improving the airway obstruction which was evident by significant improvement in the mean FEV1 values. There was also significant improvement in the hematological parameters and absence of any clinically significant adverse events indicates dependable safety profile of curcumin capsules, though there was no apparent clinical efficacy. Therefore, it is concluded that curcumin is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma.
Keywords: Add-on therapy; Bronchial asthma; Curcumin; Efficacy.