Saturday, July 06, 2019

Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Injections Help Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain (Arthritis, Acupuncture, Acetaminophen)

Efficacy and Safety of Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Dermal Injections to Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain and Physical Disability: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Jul 8

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Objectives: To evaluate purified honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom (HBV) biotherapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain and physical function.

Design and Patients: Five hundred and thirty-eight patients with Kellgren/Lawrence grade 1-3 radiographic knee OA and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain score ≥2 were randomized 1:2 to either control ("histamine") or HBV in this double-blind study.

Interventions: After a dose escalation period, patients received 12 weekly dermal injections of control ("histamine") or HBV. At each of the 12 weekly visits, a set of 15 dermal injections (each containing 2.75 μg histamine or 100 μg HBV) were administered at prespecified acupuncture points (5 on each knee: knee top, eye-1 medial, eye-2 lateral, ST 34, BL 40 and 5 near the spinous processes: BL 19, 21, 23, 25, and 27).

Outcome Measures: Assessments included WOMAC pain and physical function subscales, visual analog scale (VAS), patient global assessment (PGA), and physician global assessment (PhGA). Rescue medication use (acetaminophen) and routine safety parameters were monitored.

Results: HBV biotherapy demonstrated a highly significant improvement over control in WOMAC pain score after 12 weeks (1.1 U mean difference; confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.3-2.0; analysis of covariance [ANCOVA] p = 0.0010 with baseline as covariate) that was also sustained 4 weeks post-treatment...

Conclusions: This phase 3 trial demonstrated that HBV biotherapy resulted in significant improvements in knee OA pain and physical function.

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