Hab-o Shefa: treatment of opioid maintenance by preventing craving and relapse

This randomized placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trial was conducted to explore the influence of Hab-o Shefa (43.3% of Datura stramonium L., 27.9% of Rheum palmatum L., 14.4% of Zingiber officinale Roscoe, and 14.4% of Acacia senegal L.) on maintenance treatment of opioid-dependent patients.

To do so, 41 opioid-dependent patients were randomized to receive either 500 mg to 1500 mg/d of Hab-o Shefa or placebo for 12 weeks. Outcome measures included craving, self-reported opioid use, and lapse (any opioid-positive urine test) according to urinalysis and addiction severity index-lite questionnaire, retention in treatment, and depression and anxiety scores on the Hamilton’s anxiety and depression scales.

Results showed that the rates of opioid-positive urine tests and self-reported opioid use were significantly lower in Hab-o Shefa group (f = 8.41, p = 0.001). Hab-o Shefa also indicated a significant superiority over placebo in the effect of treatment by time interaction for craving (f = 5.91, p = 0.001), depression (f = 3.40, p = 0.01), and anxiety (f = 2.58, p = 0.035). The side effects of the two groups were not significantly different. In conclusion, Hab-o Shefa ingestion could be used as a treatment for opioid maintenance by preventing craving and relapse.

Moosavyzadeh A, Mokri A, Ghaffari F, et al. Hab-o
Shefa, a Persian Medicine Compound for Maintenance Treatment of Opioid
Dependence: Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial [published online
ahead of print, 2020 Feb 28]. J Altern Complement Med. 2020;10.1089/acm.2019.0390.