Efficacy and safety of Si-Jun-Zi-Tang-based therapies for functional (non-ulcer) dyspepsia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Yaping Wang, Bin Liu, Xiuqiong Fu, Tiejun Tong, Zhiling Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The traditional Chinese medicine formula Si-Jun-Zi-Tang (SJZT) has a long history of application in the treatment of functional dyspepsia (non-ulcer dyspepsia, FD)-like symptoms. SJZT-based therapies have been claimed to be beneficial in managing FD. This study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of SJZT-based therapies in treating FD by meta-analysis.

Methods: Systematic searches for RCTs were conducted in seven databases (up to February 2019) without language restrictions. Data were analyzed using Cochrane RevMan software version 5.3.0 and Stata software version 13.1, and reported as relative risk (RR) or odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The primary outcome was response rate and the secondary outcomes were gastric emptying, quality of life, adverse effects and relapse rate. The quality of evidence was evaluated according to criteria from the Cochrane risk of bias.

Results: A total of 341 potentially relevant publications were identified, and 12 RCTs were eligible for inclusion. For the response rate, there was a statically significant benefit in favor of SJZT-based therapies (RR = 1.23; 95% CI 1.17 to 1.30). However, the benefit was limited to modified SJZT (MSJZT). The relapse rate of FD patients received SJZT-based therapies was lower than that of patients who received conventional medicines (OR = 0.23; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.51). No SJZT-based therapies-related adverse effect was reported.

Conclusion: SJZT-based prescriptions may be effective in treating FD and no serious side-effects were identified, but the effect on response rate appeared to be limited to MSJZT. The results should be interpreted with caution as all the included studies were considered at a high risk of bias. Standardized, large-scale and strictly designed RCTs are needed to further validate the benefits of SJZT-based therapies for FD management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Medicine(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Efficacy
  • Functional (non-ulcer) dyspepsia
  • Meta-analysis
  • Safety
  • Si-Jun-Zi-tang
  • Traditional Chinese medicine


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