Early intervention with Kan Jang® to treat upper-respiratory tract infections: A randomized, quadruple-blind study

J Tradit Complement Med. 2021 Jun 11;11(6):552-562. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2021.06.001. eCollection 2021 Nov.


Background and aim: Andrographis paniculata and Eleutherococcus senticosus preparations and their fixed combination, called Kan Jang®, are traditionally used for relieving symptoms of upper-respiratory tract infections (URTIs). This study aimed to assess the efficacy of early intervention with Kan Jang® on the relief and duration of inflammatory symptoms during the acute phase of the disease.

Experimental procedure: A total of 179 patients with URTI symptoms received six Kan Jang® (daily dose of andrographolides: 60 mg) or placebo capsules a day for five consecutive days in this randomized, quadruple-blinded, placebo-controlled, two-parallel-group phase II study. The primary efficacy outcomes were the decrease in the acute-phase duration and the mean URTI symptoms score (sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, hoarseness, cough, headache, and fatigue).

Results: Early intervention with Kan Jang® significantly increased the recovery rate and reduced the number of sick leave days by >21% (0.64/day) relative to that observed in the placebo group (2.38 vs. 3.02 days, p = 0.0053). Kan Jang® significantly alleviated all URTI symptoms starting from the second day of treatment. A superior anti-inflammatory effect of Kan Jang® to that of placebo was also observed on the white blood cell count (p = 0.007) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p = 0.0258). Treatment with Kan Jang® was tolerated well.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that early intervention with Kan Jang® capsules reduces the recovery duration of patients by 21% and significantly relieves the severity of typical URTI symptoms.

Keywords: Andrographis paniculata; Clinical trial; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; Eleutherococcus senticosus; FI, farb (colour) index; GCP, good clinical practice; GMP, good manufacturing practice; ICH, international conference on harmonization; Inflammation.; Kan Jang®; OR, odds ratio; QP, qualified pharmacist; RBC, red blood cell; TSS, total symptom score; URTI, upper respiratory tract infection; Upper-respiratory tract infections; VAS, visual analog scale; WBC, white blood cell.