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Risk associated with bee venom therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Park JH, Yim BK, Lee JH, Lee S, Kim TH - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In this systematic review, we provide a summary of the types and prevalence of adverse events associated with bee venom therapy.We searched the literature using 12 databases from their inception to June 2014, without language restrictions.We included all types of clinical studies in which bee venom was used as a key intervention and adverse events that may have been causally related to bee venom therapy were reported.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Meridian Research Group, Korean Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea.

ABSTRACT

Objective: The safety of bee venom as a therapeutic compound has been extensively studied, resulting in the identification of potential adverse events, which range from trivial skin reactions that usually resolve over several days to life-threating severe immunological responses such as anaphylaxis. In this systematic review, we provide a summary of the types and prevalence of adverse events associated with bee venom therapy.

Methods: We searched the literature using 12 databases from their inception to June 2014, without language restrictions. We included all types of clinical studies in which bee venom was used as a key intervention and adverse events that may have been causally related to bee venom therapy were reported.

Results: A total of 145 studies, including 20 randomized controlled trials, 79 audits and cohort studies, 33 single-case studies, and 13 case series, were evaluated in this review. The median frequency of patients who experienced adverse events related to venom immunotherapy was 28.87% (interquartile range, 14.57-39.74) in the audit studies. Compared with normal saline injection, bee venom acupuncture showed a 261% increased relative risk for the occurrence of adverse events (relative risk, 3.61; 95% confidence interval, 2.10 to 6.20) in the randomized controlled trials, which might be overestimated or underestimated owing to the poor reporting quality of the included studies.

Conclusions: Adverse events related to bee venom therapy are frequent; therefore, practitioners of bee venom therapy should be cautious when applying it in daily clinical practice, and the practitioner's education and qualifications regarding the use of bee venom therapy should be ensured.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Flow diagram of the study selection process.
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pone.0126971.g001: Flow diagram of the study selection process.

Mentions: Through electronic and manual searching, 8,108 potentially relevant articles were identified, including 5,504 records from PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and CINAHL; 468 records from the Chinese databases; and 2,136 records from the Korean databases, from which 2,118 duplicate records were removed. Through a screening process involving the use of the titles and abstracts of identified records, we excluded 5,699 records that did not meet the inclusion criteria. The remaining 291 articles were reviewed for eligibility, and 146 articles were excluded, including experimental studies (32), reviews (57), surveys (3), studies without description of the assessment of AEs (43), and studies without relevant intervention or comparison groups (11). Finally, 145 studies, including 20 RCTs, 79 audits and cohort studies, 33 single-case studies, and 13 case series, were included in the review (Fig 1).


Risk associated with bee venom therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Park JH, Yim BK, Lee JH, Lee S, Kim TH - PLoS ONE (2015)

Flow diagram of the study selection process.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4440710&req=5

pone.0126971.g001: Flow diagram of the study selection process.
Mentions: Through electronic and manual searching, 8,108 potentially relevant articles were identified, including 5,504 records from PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and CINAHL; 468 records from the Chinese databases; and 2,136 records from the Korean databases, from which 2,118 duplicate records were removed. Through a screening process involving the use of the titles and abstracts of identified records, we excluded 5,699 records that did not meet the inclusion criteria. The remaining 291 articles were reviewed for eligibility, and 146 articles were excluded, including experimental studies (32), reviews (57), surveys (3), studies without description of the assessment of AEs (43), and studies without relevant intervention or comparison groups (11). Finally, 145 studies, including 20 RCTs, 79 audits and cohort studies, 33 single-case studies, and 13 case series, were included in the review (Fig 1).

Bottom Line: In this systematic review, we provide a summary of the types and prevalence of adverse events associated with bee venom therapy.We searched the literature using 12 databases from their inception to June 2014, without language restrictions.We included all types of clinical studies in which bee venom was used as a key intervention and adverse events that may have been causally related to bee venom therapy were reported.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Meridian Research Group, Korean Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea.

ABSTRACT

Objective: The safety of bee venom as a therapeutic compound has been extensively studied, resulting in the identification of potential adverse events, which range from trivial skin reactions that usually resolve over several days to life-threating severe immunological responses such as anaphylaxis. In this systematic review, we provide a summary of the types and prevalence of adverse events associated with bee venom therapy.

Methods: We searched the literature using 12 databases from their inception to June 2014, without language restrictions. We included all types of clinical studies in which bee venom was used as a key intervention and adverse events that may have been causally related to bee venom therapy were reported.

Results: A total of 145 studies, including 20 randomized controlled trials, 79 audits and cohort studies, 33 single-case studies, and 13 case series, were evaluated in this review. The median frequency of patients who experienced adverse events related to venom immunotherapy was 28.87% (interquartile range, 14.57-39.74) in the audit studies. Compared with normal saline injection, bee venom acupuncture showed a 261% increased relative risk for the occurrence of adverse events (relative risk, 3.61; 95% confidence interval, 2.10 to 6.20) in the randomized controlled trials, which might be overestimated or underestimated owing to the poor reporting quality of the included studies.

Conclusions: Adverse events related to bee venom therapy are frequent; therefore, practitioners of bee venom therapy should be cautious when applying it in daily clinical practice, and the practitioner's education and qualifications regarding the use of bee venom therapy should be ensured.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus