Two RCTs (n=105) were included in the review.
The Jadad scores were 3 and 5 out of a possible 5. Both studies were reported as double-blinded. One study was a quasi-crossover RCT.
Both RCTs indicated that T. wilfordii had beneficial effects on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, with improvements after 12 weeks in tenderness score, swelling count, duration of morning stiffness, mean grip strength, walking time and physician- and patient-rated overall assessments (p<0.05; 1 study)). ARC-20 criteria were met by 8 out of 10 patients on high-dose T. wilfordii, 4 out of 10 on low-dose T. wilfordii, and no patients on placebo after 4 weeks.
T. wilfordii seemed to be associated with a higher rate of adverse events, including serious adverse events, compared with placebo; 4 out of 27 patients taking T. wilfordii withdrew due to adverse effects (1 study), and 15, 12 and 6 patients reported adverse events with high- and low-doses of T. wilfordii and placebo, respectively (1 study). The reported adverse events included skin rashes, cheilosis, diarrhea, amenorrhoea, hair loss and nausea.