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Retroselective study of STW 1 in diseases of the locomotor system in a medical specialist practice
Degenerative joint diseases are of increasing relevance in an ageing population. The efficacy of STW 1 (Phytodolor®), a fixed herbal combination phytomedicine containing extracts from trembling poplar, common ash and goldenrod, used in therapy of painful diseases of the support and locomotor system has been shown in a large number of clinical studies  and also in metaanalyses [2, 3].
Aim of the study was to document the use of STW 1 in a specialist medical practice. Using an extensive case report form, data from 300 patients have been included into this retrolective study. Analysis of variance with repeated measures was conducted (SPSS 15.0). 63% of the patients had a spinal cord syndrome, 28% gonarthrosis. 72% of them have been treated with STW 1 (4×30 drops), 14% with diclofenac (75mg) and 14% with ibuprofen (600mg). It could be shown, that symptoms of patients treated with STW 1 improved significantly. This was the case for subjective symptoms, as pressure induced pain and impaired motility, as well as for objective parameters (walking distance, manual force, ascending stairs). The efficacy of STW 1 (4×30 drops) was comparable to or even tended to be better that diclofenac (75mg) and ibuprofen (600mg). The improvement of symptoms continued over the whole observational period (up to 18 month). The same was the case with CRP.
Tolerability of STW 1 was distinctly and significantly better than that of diclofenac and ibuprofen, especially regarding gastrointestinal symptoms. With STW 1, no drug interactions or habituation were observed.
These data demonstrate that the phytomedicinal approach, and especially STW 1 (Phytodolor®), has significant advantages over standard NSAIDs in clinical practice, and that its therapeutic potential has often been underestimated in the past. They encourage a broader use of this phytomedicine.
Acknowledgements: We thank D. Long, Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH, Darmstadt, for the data base handling.
References: 1. Gundermann, KJ., Müller, J. (2007) Wien Med Wochenschr 157:343–7 2. Ernst, E. (1999) Natural Med J 2:14–17. 3. Gundermann KJ (2007) Planta Med 73:813