Analgesic Efficacy and Safety of Curcuminoids in Clinical Practice: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Pain Med. 2016 Jun;17(6):1192-202. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnv024. Epub 2015 Dec 14.


Background: Curcuminoids are natural products with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There have been a number of reports on the analgesic effects of curcuminoids in clinical trials, yet data have not been fully conclusive.

Objectives: To provide the highest level of evidence on the efficacy of curcuminoids in patients with painful conditions through meta-analysis of data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted using data reported by RCTs. The primary efficacy measure was pain intensity or algofunctional status. Treatment effect was summarized with standardized mean difference (SMD) calculated from differences in means of pain measures between treatment and control groups using a random-effects model.

Results: A total of eight RCTs met our inclusion criteria that included 606 randomized patients. Curcuminoids were found to significantly reduce pain (SMD: -0.57, 95% CI: -1.11 to -0.03, P = 0.04). This pain-relieving effect was found to be independent of administered dose and duration of treatment with curcuminoids, and was free from publication bias. Curcuminoids were safe and well tolerated in all evaluated RCTs.

Conclusion: Curcuminoids supplements may be a safe and effective strategy to improve pain severity, by warranting further rigorously conducted studies to define the long-term efficacy and safety.

Keywords: Curcumin; Curcuminoids; Effect Size; Meta-Analysis; Pain.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Analgesics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Curcumin