Effect of a proprietary herbal medicine on the relief of chronic arthritic pain: a double-blind study

Br J Rheumatol. 1996 Sep;35(9):874-8. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/35.9.874.


Eighty-two subjects with chronic arthritic pain were randomly assigned for 2 months without cross-over to either Reumalex, a licenced over-the-counter (OTC) herbal medicine, or a placebo. Entry characteristics were determined by a previous survey of arthritic customers at pharmacy and healthfood shop outlets. The AIMS2 questionnaire was completed at monthly intervals throughout and for 2 months prior to the trial, and a modified Ritchie Index provided clinical scores. Subjects also completed diary recordings of their use of self-prescribed analgesics and events they considered significant. There was a small but statistically significant improvement in pain symptoms, less so in sufferers from osteoarthritis. There were no other significant changes in any other measures nor in the use of other self-prescribed analgesics. There were few side-effects noted. It is concluded that Reumalex has a mild analgesic effect in chronic arthritis at a level appropriate to self-medication.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis / physiopathology
  • Arthritis / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Palliative Care*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Self Care
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Analgesics