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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2022, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (1): 26-33.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.10.005

• Systematic Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Meta-analysis on the effect of combining Lianhua Qingwen with Western medicine to treat coronavirus disease 2019

Deng-chao Wanga, Miao Yub, Wen-xian Xieb, Li-yan Huangc, Jian Weia, Yue-hua Leia   

  1. a. Department of General Surgery, Zigong Fourth People’s Hospital, Zigong 643000, Sichuan Province, China
    b. Department of Basic Medicine, Sichuan Vocational College of Health and Rehabilitation, Zigong 643000, Sichuan Province, China
    c. Department of Pathology, West China Second Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610000, Sichuan Province, China
  • Received:2020-09-09 Accepted:2021-09-14 Online:2022-01-12 Published:2022-01-13
  • Contact: Deng-chao Wang


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a worldwide life-threatening pandemic. Lianhua Qingwen is believed to possess the ability to treat or significantly improve the symptoms of COVID-19. These claims make it important to systematically evaluate the effects of using Lianhua Qingwen with Western medicine to treat COVID-19.


To evaluate the safety and efficacy of combination therapy, employing Lianhua Qingwen with Western medicine, to treat COVID-19, using a meta-analysis approach.

Search strategy

China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Database, VIP Database, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for studies evaluating the effect of Lianhua Qingwen-Western medicine combination therapy in the treatment of COVID-19.

Inclusion criteria

(1) Research object: hospitalized patients meeting the diagnostic criteria of COVID-19 were included. (2) Intervention measures: patients in the treatment group received Lianhua Qingwen treatment combined with Western medicine, while the control group received either Western medicine or Chinese medicine treatment. (3) Research type: randomized controlled trials and retrospective study were included.

Data extraction and analysis

Two researchers extracted the first author, the proportion of males and females, age, body temperature, course of treatment, rate of disappearance of main symptoms, duration of fever, adverse reactions, and total effectiveness from the literature. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used as the effect value for count data, and mean difference (MD) and 95% CI were used as the effect value for measurement data.


Six articles met the inclusion criteria, including a total of 856 COVID-19 patients. The meta-analysis showed that Lianhua Qingwen combination therapy achieved higher rates of fever reduction (OR = 3.43, 95% CI [1.78, 6.59], P = 0.0002), cough reduction (OR = 3.39, 95% CI [1.85, 6.23], P < 0.0001), recovery from shortness of breath (OR = 10.62, 95% CI [3.71, 30.40], P < 0.0001) and recovery from fatigue (OR = 2.82, 95% CI [1.44, 5.53], P = 0.003), higher total effectiveness rate (OR = 2.51, 95% CI [1.73, 3.64], P< 0.00001), and shorter time to recovery from fever (MD = –1.00, 95% CI [–1.04, 0.96], P < 0.00001), and did not increase the adverse reaction rate (OR = 0.65, 95% CI [0.42, 1.01], P = 0.06), compared to the single medication control. 


The Lianhua Qingwen and Western medicine combination therapy is highly effective for COVID-19 patients and has good clinical safety. As only a small number of studies and patients were included in this review, more high-quality, multicenter, large-sample-size, randomized, double-blind, controlled trials are still needed for verification.

Key words: Lianhua Qingwen, Western medicine, Coronavirus disease 2019, Meta-analysis

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