• 1 Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand. Electronic address:
  • 2 Clinical Pharmacy Research Unit, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand. Electronic address:
  • 3 School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Center of Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand; School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA. Electronic address:
J Ethnopharmacol, 2016 Dec 24;194:316-323.
PMID: 27620659 DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.09.021


ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Derris scandens (Roxb.) Benth. has been used as active ingredient in Thai traditional medicine recipes for pain treatment. Dry stem powder and ethanolic extract also recommended in Thailand National List of Essential Medicines (NLEMs) for musculoskeletal pain treatment as herbal medicine. However, no summarization of clinical effect and safety has been evaluated.

OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to determine the clinical effects and safety of D. scandens for musculoskeletal pain treatment compared with standard regimen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

METHODS: International and Thai databases were searched from inception through August 2015. Comparative randomized controlled trials investigating oral D. scandens for musculoskeletal pain were included. Outcomes of interest included level of pain and adverse event. Mean changes of the outcomes from baseline were compared between D. scandens and NSAIDs by calculating mean difference.

RESULTS: From 42 articles identified, 4 studies involving a total of 414 patients were included for efficacy analysis. The effects of oral D. scandens on reducing pain score were no different from those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at any time points (3, 7, 14 days and overall). The overall pain reduction in the D. scandens group was not inferior to treatment with NSAIDs (weighted mean difference 0.06; 95% CI: -0.20, 0.31) without evident of heterogeneity (I(2)=0.00%, p=0.768). When compared, the adverse events (AEs) of D. scandens showed no different relative risk with NSAIDs. The major adverse events were gastrointestinal symptoms.

CONCLUSION: D. scandens may be considered as an alternative for musculoskeletal pain reduction.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.