Ayurvedic drug reported effective to treat osteoarthritis of the knee

RA-11 (Artrex, Mendar) is a standardized multiplant Ayurvedic drug that contains Withania somnifera, Boswellia serrata, Zingiber officinale, and Curcuma longa. In a 32-week study of 90 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, it was more effective than placebo for pain relief.

OK, but I have some questions.

First, why have there been no other studies of this drug published since 2004?

Second, almost one-third of the patients (28) dropped out of the study. I only have access to the abstract, but it isn’t unclear whether the reported results are based on the 90 patients who started the study (the intent-to-treat group) or just the patients who completed the study. Strictly speaking and considering the high percentage of drop-outs, the results should be based on the former, which would make it harder to show statistically significant differences between treatments.

It’s true, I’m much more critical about these results than I was last night in the post about animal-assisted therapy.

Go here for more information on the components in RA-11.

10/18/06 21:17 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.