Japanese researchers have developed a glycyrrhizin suppository that is safe and effective for hepatitis C patients, according to a study in the May issue of Hepatology Research.
Glycyrrhizin, which is extracted from licorice root, decreases aminotransferase levels in patients with hepatitis C, but the drug currently has to be administered intravenously. Consequently, hepatitis C patients currently are advised to receive this treatment only in a hospital or clinic.
The researchers found that a suppository containing a mixture of glycyrrhizinic ammonium salt and sodium capric acid with pH neutralization was as effective as intravenous administration in decreasing serum alanine aminotransferase levels.
In addition, they found that the suppository caused no serious side effects.
"Usage of the newly developed suppository of glycyrrhizin can improve the quality of life for chronic hepatitis C patients, especially those who do not respond with viral clearance to interferon therapy," concluded the researchers.
Other sources: Hepatology Research 2003: 26(1): 10-14