Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin Prince,
Dr Nia Edwards,
Dr Michael Bramble,
Emeritus Professor Oliver James,
Professor David Jones
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Background: We have previously reported, in an uncontrolled trial, an improvement in fatigue scores in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis given oral antioxidant supplementation. We now present data from a controlled trial. Patients and methods: Sixty-one patients with primary biliary cirrhosis-associated fatigue were randomized into a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Participants received 12 weeks each of placebo and antioxidant supplementation (vitamins A, C and E, selenium, methionine and ubiquinone) in random order, separated by a 4-week washout period. The primary trial outcome (fatigue) was assessed using the Fisk scale. Other symptoms of primary biliary cirrhosis were measured using Likert and visual analogue scales. Results: Forty-four patients completed both arms of the trial. No significant changes in fatigue were recorded in the active phase of treatment (median improvement in Fisk score, 1; P=0.61). Small improvements in Fisk scores were recorded during placebo therapy (median improvement, 4; P = 0.03). Neither medication was associated with improvement in any other symptoms related to primary biliary cirrhosis. Adverse effects were more common during active therapy and were mild and self-limiting. One patient died from unrelated causes during active treatment. Conclusions: Although oral antioxidant supplementation appears to be safe, we could not find any evidence for a beneficial effect on fatigue or other liver-related symptoms.
Author(s): Prince MI, Mitchison HC, Ashley D, Burke DA, Edwards N, Bramble MG, James OFW, Jones DEJ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
ISSN (print): 0269-2813
ISSN (electronic): 1365-2036
PubMed id: 12492743
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