Valerian does not appear to reduce symptoms for patients with chronic insomnia in general practice using a series of randomised n-of-I trials

PD Coxeter, PJ Schluter*, HL Eastwood, CJ Nikles, PP Glasziou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of valerian for the management of chronic insomnia in general practice. Design: Valerian versus placebo in a series of n-of-1 trials, in Queensland, Australia. Results: Of 42 enrolled patients, 24 (57%) had sufficient data for inclusion into the n-of-1 analysis. Response to valerian was fair for 23 (96%) participants evaluating their 'energy level in the previous day' but poor or modest for all 24 (100%) participants' response to 'total sleep time' and for 23 (96%) participants' response to 'number of night awakenings' and 'morning refreshment'. As a group, the proportion of treatment successes ranged from 0.35 (95% CI 0.23, 0.47) to 0.55 (95% CI 0.43, 0.67) for the six elicited outcome sleep variables. There was no significant difference in the number (P = 0.06), distribution (P = 1.00) or severity (P = 0.46) of side effects between valerian and placebo treatments. Conclusions: Valerian was not shown to be appreciably better than placebo in promoting sleep or sleep-related factors for any individual patient or for all patients as a group. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

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