Orally administered Kampo medicine, Juzen-taiho-to, ameliorates anemia during interferon plus ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C

ArticleinJournal of Gastroenterology 39(12):1202-4 · January 2005with3 Reads
Impact Factor: 4.52 · DOI: 10.1007/s00535-004-1472-0 · Source: PubMed


    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13% (4/32) of TJ-48-treated patients received altered doses of ribavirin, while the ribavirin dose had to be reduced or withdrawn in 43% (15/35) of patients in the absence of TJ-48 administration (P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.