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Aim: This study evaluated the anti-arthritic activity of a herbal formulation used in the management of rheumatoid arthritis in Nigeria.
Design: Thirty-five (35) albino wistar rats were used. They were divided into seven groups of seven rats each, with Group A serving as negative control while Group B was the positive control. Groups B, C, D and E were induced with rheumatoid arthritis by injecting 0.1 ml of Complete Freund’s Adjuvant into the right hind paw of each rat. The rats were treated with the standard drug and herbal formulation respectively for 28 days as follows: Group C (treated with a standard drug, Celebrex), Group D (treated with the herbal drug, Jointeez), Group E (treated with a combination therapy of Jointeez and Celebrex). At the end of the 28-day treatment period, the rats were anaesthesized with chloroform and sacrificed through puncture of the jugular vein. Five millilitres (5 ml) of blood samples were put into plain bottles for the analysis of biochemical parameters.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted in the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Rivers State University, from September to December, 2018.
Methodology: The inflammatory markers, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein, were analysed using ELISA technique.
Results: The levels of TNF-α (p<0.001), IL-6 (p =0.01) and C-reactive protein (p <0.001) were significantly reduced in the treated rats compared to the positive control group. There were significant reduction in the paw diameters of the treated rats (p <0.001). The combination therapy used in this study did not offer significantly different therapeutic advantage over the monotherapies used in this study. The herbal formulation used in this study offered similar therapeutic activities as the orthodox drug used in this study.
Conclusion: The herbal formulations can be used as safe therapies for the management of rheumatoid arthritis in our population. It is recommended that herbal formulations be integrated into our healthcare system in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
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