Effectiveness and Safety of Suk Sai-Yad Herbal Remedy for Chronic Insomnia: A Preliminary Retrospective Study in Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital

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Nutcha Tengtermwong


Suk Sai-Yad, a cannabis-containing traditional remedy, is indicated to be used for insomnia. However, scientific data on its effectiveness and safety were lacking as the use of cannabis, a schedule 5 narcotic, was prohibited by the Narcotic Act for 60 years. Method: A preliminary retrospective study was therefore conducted by assessing medical records of chronic insomnia patients in Thai traditional cannabis clinic at Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital. The inclusion criteria were patients having insomnia for at least one month, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) more than 5, and coming back for follow-up at least once. Results: Twenty-five patients, 13 females and 12 males, with a mean age of 56 ± 13.08 years were identified. The average global PSQI score before treatment (visit 0) was 14.76 ± 3.07 and the average PSQI scores upon follow-up (visits 1-6) were 10.56 ± 3.69, 7.70 ± 3.54, 9.30 ± 3.56, 8.71 ± 4.38, 7.20 ± 3.89, and 8.00 ± 5.29, respectively. The comparison of global PSQI scores before and after treatment showed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in every visit, except for the last visit (visit 6). After treatment, 6 patients were classified as good sleep quality (global PSQI score ≤ 5). The quality of life, as determined by EQ-5D-5L, only slightly increased, probably because the quality of life had been good since the beginning. Gastrointestinal tract irritation was the most common side effect found in 64% of patients. Conclusion: Suk Sai-Yad traditional remedy was significantly effective for chronic insomnia during the first 5 months of the treatment. Further prospective study in a larger population should be conducted to ensure its efficacy and safety and a modification of dosage form should be considered to reduce side effects.


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