Interferon plus ribavirin (IFN/Rib) therapy is currently standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C. Hemolytic anemia, however, is a serious side effect of this treatment, requiring reductions in or complete withdrawal of ribavirin.
We retrospectively investigated the effect of the Kampo medicine Juzen-taiho-to (TJ-48), which contains bone marrow-stimulating compounds, on anemia in 67 patients with chronic hepatitis C, who received IFN/Rib therapy.
The reduction in hemoglobin levels was significantly ameliorated in TJ-48-treated patients (P<0.05). Consequently, only 13% (4/32) of TJ-48-treated patients received altered doses of ribavirin, while the ribavirin dose had to be reduced or withdrawn in 43% (15/35) of patients in the absence of TJ-48 administration (P<0.001).
These results indicate the possibility that oral administration of TJ-48 supports IFN/Rib therapy without necessitating ribavirin reduction or withdrawal.
"It has also shown effectiveness in treating various symptoms and restoring strength in elderly people and has proven suitable for long-term administration . Some clinical reports on JTT have shown hematopoiesis and anemia recovery   . JTT has been used as an adjunctive therapy for advanced breast cancer patients . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have performed a broad-ranging analysis of the adjuvant effect of a Kampo medicine, juzentaihoto (JTT), on influenza vaccination in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. In this study, the enhancing effect of JTT on antibody titer after influenza vaccination was studied for 28 weeks in elderly people who were in the high-risk group for influenza infection. In total, 91 subjects over 65 years old were recruited from four long-term-care facilities located in Chiba, Gunma, and Toyama prefectures in Japan. Participants were randomly assigned to the JTT and the control groups. Blood samples were taken at 4 weeks before vaccination, at the time of vaccination, and then at 4, 8, 12, and 24 weeks after vaccination. The hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers against A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Victoria/210/2009 (H3N2), and B/Brisbane/60/2008 were then manually measured. A significant increase in HI titer against H3N2 was observed at week 8 after vaccination in the JTT group compared with the control group (P = 0.0229), and the HI titer of the JTT group significantly increased from 4 to 24 weeks (P = 0.0468), compared with the control group. In conclusion, our results indicated that JTT increased and prolonged antibody production against A/Victoria/210/2009 (H3N2), in particular, after influenza vaccination.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11/2013; 2013:568074. DOI:10.1155/2013/568074 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated oral ribavirin as therapy for chronic hepatitis C infection in a pilot study including 10 patients. Patients (7 men, 3 women; mean age 40 years, range 23-54) all had biopsy-proven chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis and were repeatedly positive for antibodies to hepatitis C virus. Treatment was with oral ribavirin 1000-1200 mg per day in two divided doses for 12 weeks. The median serum alanine aminotransferase concentration for all patients at enrollment was 3.15 mu kat/l (range 1.22-7.79) and decreased significantly (p less than 0.005) to 1.25 mu kat/l (0.78-2.04) after 12 weeks of treatment. Within 6 weeks of the end of treatment the median serum alanine aminotransferase concentration was not significantly different from that before treatment. Side-effects were mild and fully reversible after cessation of therapy. We conclude that ribavirin is the first drug to offer a potentially effective oral treatment for chronic hepatitis C. It should be further evaluated in controlled trials, possibly in combination with interferon alpha.
The Lancet 06/1991; 337(8749):1058-61. DOI:10.1016/0140-6736(91)91707-2 · 45.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current practice guidelines recommend that individuals chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) be treated with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin. Ribavirin, however, is associated with serious adverse events (AE), especially anemia. We review its mechanism of action, its importance in treating chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients, the AE associated with its use, and techniques used to lessen these AE.
Medline searches were performed using the keywords ribavirin and hepatitis, together with the keywords mechanism, anemia, liver transplant, renal function, pharmacokinetics, and dose reduction. Searches of abstracts of recent Digestive Diseases Week, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and European Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meetings were also performed.
Ribavirin may be effective in treating CHC by affecting the virus or the host; for example by inducing viral mutations, blocking cellular enzymes, or affecting the host immune response. Although the pegylated interferons are the primary drugs used to treat CHC, a combination with ribavirin is more effective than pegylated interferon alone. Ribavirin-associated AE may be lessened by ribavirin dose reductions and by maintenance of the hematocrit.
Treatments of ribavirin toxicities, especially anemia, can allow patients to continue full-dose combination therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin, enhancing their probability of attaining a sustained virologic response (SVR). Treatment of CHC should be tailored to individual patients, especially those with renal dysfunction, and should include agents that treat the side-effects of CHC treatment. Monitoring of plasma ribavirin concentrations during treatment may help in the future.
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 07/2008; 23(6):844-55. DOI:10.1111/j.1440-1746.2008.05398.x · 3.50 Impact Factor
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