Chinese Medicine for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A GRADE-Assessed Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused enormous public health and socioeconomic burden globally. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Chinese medicine (CM) against COVID-19. Eleven databases were searched on April 30, 2021, and 52 studies were included. The RoB 2.0, ROBINS-I, and GRADE tools were employed to assess the risks and evidence grades. The findings with moderate certainty in GRADE showed that compared with routine treatment (RT), Lianhua Qingwen granules (LHQW) adjunctive to RT showed significantly improved efficacy rate (relative risk (RR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI): [1.09, 1.31]), febrile score (standard mean difference (SMD) = -1.21, 95% CI: [-1.43, -0.99]), and computerized tomography (CT) lung images (RR = 1.23, 95% CI: [1.10, 1.38]); Qingfei Paidu decoction (QFPD) plus RT significantly shortened the length of hospital stay (SMD = -1.83, 95% CI: [-2.18, -1.48]); Feiyan Yihao formula (FYYH) plus RT significantly improved the clinical efficacy rate (RR = 1.07, 95% CI: [1, 1.15]), febrile time (SMD = -0.02, 95% CI: [-0.23, 0.19]), and time to negative PCR test for COVID-19 (SMD = -0.72, 95% CI: [-0.94, -0.51]). Adjunctive effects of CM with lower certainty of evidence were found, including the improvements of symptoms, laboratory findings, and mortality. No or mild adverse events were observed in most of the studies. In conclusion, the current evidence indicates that CM formulae, particularly LHQW, QFPD, and FYYH, have adjunctive effects on the standard treatment of COVID-19.