The purpose of this study was to determine if the adverse effects of interferon (IFN) in hepatitis C patients could be reduced by treatment with Japanese Oriental (Kampo) medicine. Twelve patients with chronic hepatitis C were treated with a combination of IFN-β and either Mao-to or Dai-seiryu-to (groups A and B), and 16 patients were treated with IFN-β alone (group C). Mao-to was administered to eight patients and Dai-seiryu-to was administered to four in groups A and B, respectively. Adverse effects were evaluated by clinical and laboratory examinations. The severity of symptoms was daily self-classified into four categories (1: none, 2: very slight, 3: moderate, and 4: serious), using a questionnaire consisting of 29 items. Scores of symptom such as discomfort and fever in group A, and discomfort, general malaise, paresthesia and arthralgia in group B were significantly lower than those in group C (p < 0.05). In all patients, HCV-RNA was negative at the end of the treatment, and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels had normalized transiently in all group A and B patients with genotype 1 b by 2 weeks after cessation of IFN treatment. This study indicates that Kampo medicines are useful for reducing the adverse effects accompanying IFN treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C without reducing the antiviral effects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Complementary and alternative medicine