A phase I study of the safety of honeybee venom extract as a possible treatment for patients with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.
ABSTRACT Although several reports suggest that bee venom may be an effective treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), patients may be subjected to real risks of serious allergic reactions as well as emotional and economic costs. This study was conducted to evaluate the safety of bee venom extract as a possible treatment for patients with progressive forms of MS. A total of nine bee venom nonallergic patients with progressive forms of MS, who were 21-55 years of age with no other illnesses, were entered into four groups (A, B, C, and D) on a structured 1-year immunization schedule. Hyperreactivity to bee venom was evaluated by questionnaire, physical examination, and a battery of hematologic, metabolic, and immunologic tests. Responses to therapy were evaluated by questionnaire, functional neurological tests, and changes in measurement of somatosensory-evoked potentials. Although no serious adverse allergic reactions were observed in any of the nine subjects, four experienced worsening of neurological symptoms, requiring termination in the study; this could not be ascribed to side effects of the therapy. Of the remaining five subjects, three felt that the therapy had subjective amelioration of symptoms and two showed objective improvement. Although this preliminary study suggests safety, because of the small numbers studied, there were no definite conclusions regarding efficacy and therefore there was little evidence to support the use of honeybee venom in the treatment of MS. Larger and more carefully conducted multicenter studies will be required to establish efficacy.
Article: Venom therapy in multiple sclerosis.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To date many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) seek complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) to treat their symptoms as an adjunct to conventionally used therapies. Among the common CAM therapies, there is a renewed interest in the therapeutic potential of venoms in MS. The efficacy of this therapeutic method remains unclear. However, venom-based therapy using bee, snakes and scorpions venom and/or sea anemones toxin has been recently developed because current investigations have identified the various components and molecular mechanism of the effects of venoms under in vitro and in vivo conditions. The aim of this review is to describe the recent findings regarding the role of venoms and their components in treatment of MS disease and that whether venom therapy could be recommended as a complementary treatment or not.Neuropharmacology 10/2007; 53(3):353-61. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2007.05.002 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Currently approved multiple sclerosis (MS) therapeutics have a mainly anti-inflammatory mode of action. However, a number of promising clinical trials have been initiated that either focus on neuroprotection or follow completely different treatment strategies. So far, all of these clinical trials have failed to show efficacy or had to be halted prematurely because of unexpected adverse events. Some others show results that are of unknown significance with regard to a reliable assessment of true efficacy versus safety. For example, trials addressing the highly promising sodium channel blockers are under close observation because of potential adverse effects after drug withdrawal. Previously failed therapeutic approaches in MS have indicated that there are discrepancies between the theoretical expectations and practical outcomes of different compounds. Learning from these failures helps to optimize future study designs and to reduce risks to patients. This review summarizes trials on MS treatments since 2001 that failed or were interrupted, attempts to analyze the underlying reasons for failure, and discusses the implications for our current view of MS pathogenesis, clinical practice, and the design of future studies. In order to maintain clarity, this review focuses on neuroprotective and various other treatment strategies. Clinical trials addressing anti-inflammatory research strategies are presented elsewhere.BioDrugs 01/2010; 24(5). DOI:10.2165/11537190-000000000-00000 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Insects and insect-derived products have been widely used in folk healing in many parts of the world since ancient times. Promising treatments have at least preliminarily been studied experimentally. Maggots and honey have been used to heal chronic and post-surgical wounds and have been shown to be comparable to conventional dressings in numerous settings. Honey has also been applied to treat burns. Honey has been combined with beeswax in the care of several dermatologic disorders, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, tinea, pityriasis versicolor, and diaper dermatitis. Royal jelly has been used to treat postmenopausal symptoms. Bee and ant venom have reduced the number of swollen joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Propolis, a hive sealant made by bees, has been utilized to cure aphthous stomatitis. Cantharidin, a derivative of the bodies of blister beetles, has been applied to treat warts and molluscum contagiosum. Combining insects with conventional treatments may provide further benefit.Alternative medicine review: a journal of clinical therapeutic 07/2010; 15(2):124-35. · 4.86 Impact Factor