A trial of Phyllanthus amarus in acute viral hepatitis.


Narendranathan M, Remla A, Mini PC, Satheesh P




Trop Gastroenterol


The study was done to know whether the powders of Phyllanthus amarus plants favourably influence the duration of disease in patients with acute viraus B hepatitis when compared to placebo. The powders of the plant were given in capsule form (300 mg capsules--3 capsules--3 capsules thrice daily) and an antacid powder in similar capsule was used as placebo. Persons with encephalopathy, preexisting medical conditions or serum bilirubin above 350 iu/l were excluded from the study. Fifty seven patients were randomized to receive either the placebo (28 cases) or the drug (28 cases). The two groups were comparable at the time of entry. Two cases from the placebo and one from the placebo and one from the drug group dropped out of the study. The duration of disease (time taken for bilirubin to come to below 2 mg%) was taken as the outcome measure. The duration of disease in the two groups was compared by Cox's proportional hazards analysis after adusting for the variables that influence the duration of jaundice. Only initial serum bilirubin was an independent predictor of duration of jaundice. The an analysis showed that Phyllanthus amarus powders did not significantly reduce the duration of jaundice in persons with virus B hepatitis.