Effectiveness and safety of bee venom pharmacopuncture for rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review protocol

Won Suk Sung, Jung Hyun Kim, Dong Hyuk Lee, Eun Jung Kim, Byung Kwan Seo, Seung Ug Hong, Yong Hyeon Baek, Kwang Ho Lee, Joo Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the common autoimmune disease with low quality of life. The representative treatment is medication and medication usage has improved through update of clinical guidelines, however, there are still limitations. Bee venom (BV) has been reported to have meaningful therapeutic effects and the possibility of alternative options for RA through several types of studies, but there is no well-organised and recent published systematic review (SR). Methods We will search randomised controlled trials about the BV on RA from the inception to 31 May 2022 in various databases, manual research and contacting authors. Electronic databases will include MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, CiNii, J-STAGE, KoreaMed, Korean Medical Database, Korean Studies Information Service System, National Digital Science Library, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information and Oriental Medicine Advanced Searching Integrated System. With screening and reviewing process, we will identify the eligible studies and extract the needed data. The primary outcome will be the disease activity scores indicating the improvement of RA symptoms (American College of Rheumatology response criteria 20, 50, 70), functions (Health Assessment Questionnaire, Disease Activity Score of 28 joints), joint (Western Ontario and McMaster universities osteoarthritis index), pain (Visual Analogue Scale, Numerical Rating Scale) and effective rate. The secondary outcomes will be the RA-related blood test levels and adverse events. We will perform a meta-analysis by Review Manager software, the assessment of risk of bias by Cochrane Collaboration ⠀˜ risk of bias' and the determination of quality of evidence by Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation. Ethics and dissemination Our SR will suggest the clinical evidence of the use of BV for RA to patient, clinicians and policymakers. We will publish our results in a peer-review journal.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere056545
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2022


  • complementary medicine
  • pain management
  • rheumatology


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