Navigation Links
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Date:8/19/2009

Study compares ancient remedy to modern drug, but not the most common, experts say,,

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- An ancient Chinese herbal remedy called "thunder god vine" helps reduce inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis, a new study shows.

The remedy is an extract of the medicinal plant Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) -- known in China as "lei gong teng" -- and has been used for centuries to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases.

The study compared reduction in joint swelling among people with rheumatoid arthritis who took either the herb or an anti-inflammatory drug.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic and painful inflammation of the joints that, over time, can lead to joint damage and loss of function.

The 121 participants in the study all had at least six swollen joints. One group took 60 milligrams of TwHF root extract three times a day, and the others 1 gram of sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), a prescription anti-inflammatory drug, twice a day.

After 24 weeks, about 65 percent of those taking the herbal extract showed at least a 20 percent improvement in their joints, based on American College of Rheumatology criteria, a standard measure of the effectiveness of arthritis treatments. About 33 percent of those taking sulfasalazine improved to that degree.

A report on the findings is published Aug. 18 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

"This study is a reminder of the potential importance of supplements and herbs in the management of arthritis," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and chief executive of the Arthritis Foundation.

Even so, the study involved a relatively small number of people, Klippel noted. Clinical trials for pharmaceuticals typically involve many more participants studied over several years, he said.

"The findings are encouraging, but [TwHF] is not likely to be recommended by rheumatologists based on the findings of this one study alone," Klippel said.

And, though sulfasalazine used to be very popular as an arthritis treatment, the drug is not used that often today in the United States, according to Dr. Stephen Lindsey, head of rheumatology at Ochsner Health Systems in Baton Rouge, La.

Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) is the drug most often used today, he said.

"I would be optimistic that an herbal medicine would play some role in improving rheumatoid arthritis," Lindsey said. But he added that he "would be a little bit wary since the medicine they compared it to is a fairly mild, anti-rheumatoid agent and not the standard drug used in the U.S."

Other alternative remedies, he said, have proven helpful for arthritis, including fish oil, though some of them have not held up to more rigorous studies.

Participants in the new study were allowed to continue taking oral prednisone or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but anyone who was taking disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (such as methotrexate), which slow the progression of the disease, had to stop taking them about a month before the study began.

Researchers did not see a statistically significant difference in joint damage on X-rays, Klippel said. But he said that probably was because six months wasn't long enough for noticeable changes.

The study also had a high dropout rate, with 62 percent of those taking TwHF and 41 percent of the others continuing to the end. According to the study, 17 people taking sulfasalzine and 8 taking TwHF dropped out because of adverse effects -- most often gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea and diarrhea.

Lindsey noted that people should always remember to tell their doctor if they are taking an herbal supplement.

"Just because something is herbal doesn't mean it's going to be cheap or safe," he said.

More information

The Arthritis Foundation has more on rheumatoid arthritis



SOURCES: John H. Klippel, M.D., president and chief executive, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta; Stephen Lindsey, M.D., head, rheumatology, Ochsner Health Systems, Baton Rouge, La.; Aug. 18, 2009, Annals of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Endoscopy within 24 hours shows better outcomes in elderly with peptic ulcer bleeding
2. Study shows how to boost value of Alzheimers-fighting compounds
3. Cooling treatment after cardiac arrest is cost-effective, Penn study shows
4. New Migraine Drug Shows Promise
5. Lifting weights reduces lymphedema symptoms following breast cancer surgery, Penn research shows
6. U.S. Women Delaying Motherhood, Report Shows
7. New Evidence-Based Research Shows that Universal Comprehensive Eye Exams Would Help More Children Succeed in School
8. Jefferson Headache Center study shows novel, orally inhaled migraine therapy effective
9. Prime Therapeutics 2009 Drug Trend Insights Shows Drug Spending Slows to Lowest Rate on Record
10. New Poll Shows Two-Thirds of Americans Dont Think Government Health Care Will Cut Costs
11. Americans remain divided on government involvement in health insurance, IU survey shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthritis
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... Board-certified oculoplastic surgeon Dr. ... the official journal of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in which ... is designed to correct drooping, retracted lower eyelids, which usually result from genetics, ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... ... NexTec Group has been selected as a member of the Bob Scott’s VAR ... field of midmarket financial software. , Members of the VAR Stars were selected based ... on revenue and those firms chosen represent a wide range of size and many ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... California (PRWEB) , ... January 15, 2017 , ... "On ... stylistic slideshow with complete customization and ease," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel ... controls so that users can edit the style and animation of their slideshows. Place ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 14, 2017 , ... ... the distinctions among their expanding line of activated charcoal products. With more and ... importance of categorizing their products according to how they cater to specific needs. ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The 18th European Congress: Perspectives in Lung Cancer will ... This Congress is expertly designed to meet the educational needs of European oncology ... , Chaired by Dr. Giorgio V. Scagliotti, Professor of Oncology at the University of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/13/2017)... 2017 On Thursday, January 12, ... and the S&P 500 edged lower at the closing ... session in bearish territories. Taking into consideration yesterday,s market ... morning: Myriad Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN ), ... Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: INCR ), and La ...
(Date:1/13/2017)...  Secretary of Health Karen Murphy today ... at Misericordia University and discussed the Wolf Administration,s efforts ... . "The opioid epidemic is the ... my professional career," Secretary Murphy said. "This area of ... by heroin and prescription opioid overdoses. Across the commonwealth ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... , Jan. 13, 2017 Concord Medical Services ... CCM ), a leading specialty hospital management solution ... and diagnostic imaging centers in China ... fund with Zhongrong International Trust Co., Ltd. ("ZRT"). ... to set up Zhongrong Taihe Healthcare Fund in October ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: