Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation on Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug Requirement in Patients with Mild Rheumatoid Arthritis -- A Double-blind Placebo Controlled Study
 
   

Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation
on Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory
Drug Requirement in Patients with
Mild Rheumatoid Arthritis --
A Double-blind
Placebo Controlled Study

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
   Frankp@chiro.org

 
   

FROM:   Br J Rheumatol 1993 (Nov);   32 (11):   982989

Lau CS, Morley KD, Belch JJ

Department of Medicine,
Ninewells Hospital,
Dundee, Scotland


Maxepa contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (171 mg/capsule) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (114 mg/capsule). EPA acts as an alternative substrate to arachidonate, leading to the formation of the less proinflammatory prostaglandins ('3' series) and leukotrienes ('5' series). If Maxepa has anti-inflammatory properties it could be expected to reduce the requirement for NSAIDs in patients with RA. This has not been investigated nor has Maxepa therapy been studied over a full 1-yr period. Sixty-four patients with stable RA requiring NSAID therapy only were studied. Patients received either 10 Maxepa or air-filled placebo capsules per day for 12 months. All then received placebo capsules for a further 3 months. Patients were reviewed at 3-monthly intervals. NSAID requirement at entry visit for each patient was assigned as 100%. Patients were instructed to slowly reduce their NSAID dosage providing there was no worsening of their symptoms. Clinical and laboratory parameters of RA activity were also measured. There was a significant reduction in NSAID usage in patients on Maxepa when compared with placebo from month 3 [mean (95% C.I. for mean) requirement--71.1 (55.9-86.2)% and 89.7 (73.7-105.7)%, respectively]. This effect reached its maximum at month 12 [40.6 (24.5-56.6)% and 84.1 (62.7-105.5)%, respectively] and persisted to month 15 [44.7 (27.6-61.8)% and 85.8 (60.5-111.1)%, respectively] (P < 0.001, ANOVA). These patients were able to reduce their NSAID requirement without experiencing any deterioration in the clinical and laboratory parameters of RA activity.


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