The adjuvant use of calcium fructoborate and borax with etanercept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Pilot study

Saad Abdulrahman Hussain, Sattar Jabir Abood, Faiq Isho Gorial
Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology 2017, 6 (1): 58-64

OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to evaluate the effects calcium fructoborate (CFB) and sodium tetraborate (NTB) as supplements in Iraqi patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) maintained on etanercept.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial with 60 days treatment period was carried out at Baghdad Teaching Hospital, Medical city, Baghdad, Iraq. Eighty RA patients were randomized into three groups to receive either 220 mg/day CFB, 55 mg/day NTB in capsule dosage form (equivalent to 6 mg elemental Boron), or placebo formula once daily. Only 72 patients completed the study. All patients were clinically evaluated utilizing DAS28-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), simple disease activity index-C-reactive protein (CRP), and clinical disease activity index scores at baseline, and at the end of the study. Venous blood was obtained at baseline and after 60 days, and utilized for the measurement of ESR, hemoglobin, in addition to evaluation of high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1α (IL-1α) and IL-6.

RESULTS: After 60 days, both types of boron significantly improve the clinical scores, in association with significant decrease in the serum levels of ESR, hsCRP, IL-1α, IL-6, and TNF-α with remarkable superiority for calcium fructoborate (CFB) over sodium tetraborate (NTB), compared to baseline and placebo-treated group.

CONCLUSION: The use of boron, as adjuvant with etanercept, has potentiated therapeutic outcomes in RA patients, and may be a new strategy to improve treatment, and avoid the problems associated with biologics utilized in RA treatment.

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