( dpa ) - A three-month study aims to determine how well traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can prevent kidney damage in diabetics compared to the Western drug normally administered, a published report said Tuesday.
Half of the 60 patients at Singapore General Hospital will be getting enalapril, a commonly prescribed Western drug, and the other half a concoction of nine TCM herbs.
If the study produces favourable results, TCM could become a "feasible option" for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of the Western drug, The Straits Times quoted Dr Bee Yong Meng, an associate consultant at the hospital's endocrinology department as saying.
Among the side effects is a bad cough.
"If patients prefer TCM, at least we have some evidence to say if they should have it or not," Bee said.
Dr Xu Yue said that a similar study she is conducting on 100 patients in Shanghai has shown after a year that the TCM prescription works as well as standard drugs in protecting the kidneys without the side effects.