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Preliminary study on efficacy of oxymatrine in treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C

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Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of oxymatrine in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C and to discuss its mechanism.Methods: Forty-three patients with chronic HCV infection were randomly divided into the treated group (20 cases) and the control group (23 cases). The treated group was given oxymatrine 600 mg per day intramuscularly for three months, and the control group was given the general liver protective agents such as vitamins. Serum HCV-RNA, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), soluble interleukin-2 receptor and collagen type IV (IV-C) were determined before and after treatment.Results: Eight out of 17 HCV-RNA-positive (47.1%) in the treated group converted to HCV-RNA-negative cases, while in 18 cases of the control group, the negative convertion only took place in 1 patient (5.6%), the negative conversion rate was significantly higher in the treated group than that in the control group (P < 0.05). The normalization rates of serum ALT of the treated group at the end of the first and second month treatment were higher than those of the control group, but after three months treatment, the normalization rates of the two groups were not different significantly. Both serum levels of IV-C and plasma levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor were significantly reduced after oxymatrine treatment for three months (P < 0.05).Conclusion: Oxymatrine is effective on eliminating HCV-RNA and reducing fibrosis activity, so it could be a safe, effective drug in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

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Correspondence to Jiqiang Li or Chaoqun Li or Minde Zeng or Xiangkui She or Guoqin Li or Jing Hua or Dekai Qiu or Shudong Xiao.

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Li, J., Li, C., Zeng, M. et al. Preliminary study on efficacy of oxymatrine in treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C. CJIM 5, 29–31 (1999).

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Key Words

  • oxymatrine
  • hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid
  • soluble interleukin-2 receptor
  • collagen type III