Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Double-blind controlled trials were eligible for inclusion in the efficacy review; two of the included studies were not randomised. All types of study design were eligible for inclusion in the safety review.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of single or combined preparations of oral A. paniculata were eligible for inclusion. The studies included in the efficacy review used standardised extracts of A. paniculata alone or in combination with Eleutherococcus senticosus, except for one study that used a crude drug preparation. The comparator interventions for efficacy studies were placebo or paracetamol. The daily dose of andrographolide ranged from 48 to 360 mg/day in the efficacy review and from 11 mg/day to 10 mg/kg per day for studies included in the safety review.
Participants included in the review
Studies of patients with uncomplicated URTI were eligible for inclusion in the efficacy review. There were no restrictions on participants for the review of safety, and participants in the included studies were healthy volunteers, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive people, patients with renal stones and patients with cardiac and cerebrovascular disease, as well as those with URTI.
Outcomes assessed in the review
No inclusion criteria for the outcomes were specified. The outcomes assessed in the efficacy review were symptoms and days of sick leave. The outcomes in the safety review were all adverse events experienced.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
One reviewer selected studies and a second reviewer checked the selection. Any disagreements were resolved by discussion.