Background: With the increase of troops entering the plateau for a variety of missions, the occurrence of de-adaptation increased significantly when the army returned to the plains, however, until now, there has been no effective treatment for de-adaptation to high altitude.
Objective: To observe the interventional effects of compound Chinese herbal preparations (Sankang Capsule, Rhodiola Rosea Capsule and Shenqi Pollen Capsule) on de-adaptation to high altitude, and provide scientific evidence for appropriate treatment methods in the army health care for future missions.
Design, setting, participants and interventions: A randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial design was used. Soldiers of a returning army unit who exhibited de-adaptation response symptoms were selected for observation after participating in earthquake relief at high altitude. A total of 543 soldiers were divided into a Sankang Capsule group, a Rhodiola Rosea Capsule group, a Shenqi Pollen Capsule group and a placebo group for drug intervention and administered with corresponding drugs. The course of treatment was 15 days. A self-evaluation scale for de-adaptation to high altitude was used to measure the signs and symptoms exhibited by the soldiers.
Main outcome measures: Effective rate of signs and symptoms of de-adaptation to high altitude was analyzed after a 15-day treatment and the differences of improvement rate of symptoms between groups were compared to evaluate the efficacy of the drugs.
Results: All three drugs improved the symptoms of de-adaptation to high altitude. Compared with the placebo group, symptoms of de-adaptation to high altitude in the drug-treated groups were remitted (P<0.05). Compared with placebo, Sankang Capsule mainly had well-marked effects on dizziness, fatigue, palpitations, cough, sputum and sore throat (P<0.05); Rhodiola Rosea Capsule significantly reduced the symptoms of fatigue, drowsiness, chest tightness, palpitations, vertigo, lack of attention and memory loss (P<0.05); Shenqi Pollen Capsule significantly reduced the symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, weakness, chest tightness, palpitations, cough, sputum, sore throat, memory loss, unresponsiveness and limb numbness (P<0.05). The symptom improvement rate of Shenqi Pollen Capsule was significantly higher than those of the other two drugs.
Conclusion: All the three drugs played an evident role in ameliorating symptoms of de-adaptation, and the use of Shenqi Pollen Capsule was more effective than Rhodiola Rosea Capsule and Sankang Capsule.