Study examines effect of herbal medicine product on bedwetting in children

A new clinical trial investigating whether an herbal medicine product can benefit school-age children experiencing bedwetting is being led by a collaboration between researchers from the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) at the University of Technology Sydney and the Office of Research at Endeavour College of Natural Health.

The trial will examine whether a specialized combination of medicinal herbs can reduce the frequency of wet nights and mornings for children between 6 and 14 years old. Bedwetting - also known as nocturnal enuresis - can occur in 1 in 5 Australian school-aged children and has a wide range of impacts on the child and their family. "While there are a number of possible therapies parents can use to treat their child, none are universally effective" explains Principal Investigator, Dr Janet Schloss, from Endeavour College of Natural Health and ARCCIM, "Many of these interventions are behavioral or educational and place a lot of pressure on parents with no guarantee of continued effectiveness after the therapy ceases."

The TGA-listed herbal product being studied, Urox - Bedtime Buddy, is a combination of three herbs which have already been shown to benefit adults with urinary incontinence and overactive bladder. A key outcome from this previous study was the significant reduction in adult night time incontinence.

The clinical trial is funded by Seipel Group Pty Ltd, the Australian company responsible for producing Urox. "As an organization we are committed to evidence-based medicine and so when we started receiving anecdotal reports from parents that Urox was really helping their children's bedwetting we realized we needed to explore this further" says Tracey Seipel, Director of Seipel Pty Ltd.

The collaboration between ARCCIM and Endeavour College of Natural Health for this project is being led by Associate Director Research at Endeavour and ARCCIM Research Fellow, Dr Amie Steel. "From my perspective, all health care warrants close examination through rigorous and robust research and herbal medicine is no different. We know that parents often use herbal and other complementary medicines to support their child's health so I am very glad we have an opportunity to contribute to research which will help parent's make evidence-informed decisions about their child's health care".

About the trial

  • The trial has ethics approval and is currently underway.
  • The ARCCIM and Endeavour collaborative research team will assess the suitability of participants from the general community.
  • The trial will recruit 80 participants between 6 and 14 years old who has bedwetting incidents more than 3 time per week.
  • The intervention will continue for 8 weeks.
  • The intervention will be compared to a placebo.
  • Participants' parents will receive a $50 voucher by the end of the study to compensate for any expenses associated with participation.
  • The trial is being conducted from Brisbane and parents with bedwetting children interested in participating are encouraged to contact the research team.

About Urox - Bedtime Buddy

  • The product is listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (AUSTL 290162)
  • It contains three herbs:
    • Crataeva nurvala is traditionally used in the Ayurvedic traditional medicine from India for bladder conditions with some preliminary research to reduce inflammation and the formation of kidney stones.
    • Equisetum arvense, or Horsetail, is another Ayurvedic herb which is well document in traditional herbal medicine texts as acting on the urinary system and is specifically used in Ayurvedic medicine for nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting).
    • Lindera strychnifolia is a Chinese herbal medicine that has been used in Chinese medicine formulas for urinary incontinence.
  • A previous study examining the clinical effectiveness of Urox for adult urinary incontinence has been published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The previous study found night time urination, urinary urgency and total incontinence was reduce after 8 weeks of treatment. The participant's quality of life was also improved.

About Nocturnal Enuresis

  • Approximately 1 in 5 Australian school-aged children have nocturnal enuresis, or bedwetting.
  • Nocturnal enuresis can have significant psychological impacts on the child and has been linked with poor school performance.
  • Children often report bedwetting as having more impact on their life than is perceived by their parents.

Lead researcher Dr Janet Schloss is the Clinical Trials Coordinator at Endeavour College of Natural Health's Office of Research. She has dedicated her career to supporting cancer patients and expanding the body of evidence-based research for complementary medicine and its ability to assist people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Dr Schloss has coordinated and conducted clinical trials for more than 8 years on a variety of research topics.

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