Altern Ther Health Med. 2016 Jun;22 Suppl 2:15-23
Nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs effectively relieve osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms but also induce adverse effects (AEs) that limit their long-term use, which drives a search for safer treatments.
D-002, a mixture of beeswax alcohols, and D-003, a mixture of sugarcane wax acids, have been effective in experimental and clinical studies for patients with OA.
Objective • The study intended to investigate the effects on OA symptoms of a combined therapy using D-002 and D-003 (D-002/D-003), which were administered for 6 wk. Design • The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Setting • The study was conducted at the Surgical Medical Research Center in Havana, Cuba.
Participants • Participants were patients with mild-to-moderate OA. Intervention • Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups-(1) a control group, which received a placebo; (2) the D-002 group (intervention group), which received 50 mg/d of D-002; (3) the D-003 group (intervention group), which received 10 mg/d of D-003; or (4) the D-002/D-003 group (intervention group), which received a combined therapy of 50 mg/d of D-002 plus 10 mg/d of D-003. The control group received tablets that were indistinguishable in appearance from the D-002 and D-003 tablets and had a similar composition, except that the active ingredients were replaced by lactose. The groups took the medications once per day for 6 wk.
Outcome Measures • Symptoms were assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Individual Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and a visual analogue scale (VAS). The primary outcome was the reduction in the total WOMAC score. The subscale scores on the WOMAC for pain, stiffness, and physical function, the VAS scores, and the use of rescue medications were secondary outcomes.
Results • Of the 120 enrolled participants, 116 completed the study. The treatments with D-002, D-003, and D-002/D-003 reduced the mean total WOMAC scores significantly from baseline to postintervention, by 75.1%, 72.8%, and 91.2%, respectively. Compared with the placebo, the treatments decreased the mean WOMAC scores for pain, joint stiffness, and physical function significantly. The VAS scores significantly decreased, showing a 71.4%, a 66.9%, and an 84.7% reduction for the D-002, D-003, and D-002/D-003 groups, respectively. All the reductions were significant from the first week and were enhanced during the trial. The D-002/D-003 treatment was more effective in improving all of the scores than either monotherapy. With respect to rescue medications, 3/30, 2/30, and 2/30 used the medications in the D-002, D-003, and D-002/D-003 groups, respectively, vs 17/30 in the control group. The treatments were well tolerated.
Conclusions • Administered for 6 wk, 50 mg/d of D-002 and 10 mg/d of D-003 ameliorated OA symptoms, but the combined therapy, D-002/D-003, was more effective than either monotherapy.