Aim: To compare the efficacy and safety between huperzine-A (Hup) in capsules and tablets for treating patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).
Methods: Using multicenter, prospective, double-blind, double-mimic, parallel, positive controlled and randomized methods, 60 patients meeting with the NINCDS-ARDRA criteria of AD were divided into 2 equal groups. Patients in the capsule group received 4 capsules of Hup (each contains 50 micrograms) and 4 tablets of placebo (lactose and starch inside); while the tablet group received 4 tablets of Hup (each contains 50 micrograms) and 4 capsules of placebo, p.o., twice a day for 60 d. All the patients were evaluated with a lot of related ranting scales, and physiological and laboratory examination.
Results: There were significant differences (P < 0.01) on all the psychological evaluations between 'before' and 'after' the 60-d trial of 2 groups, but there was no significant difference between 2 groups by group t test (P > 0.05). The changes of oxygen free radicals in 2 groups showed marked improvement. No severe side effect besides moderate to mild nausea was found in both groups.
Conclusion: There is equal efficacy and safety between Hup in capsule and tablet for treating patients with AD, and Hup can reduce the pathological changes of the oxygen free radicals in the plasma and erythrocytes of patients with AD.