Probucol in the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: an open-labeled study

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2003 Mar;36(3):266-8. doi: 10.1097/00004836-200303000-00015.


Goals: To evaluate the effects of probucol, an agent with strong antioxidant properties, in reversing biochemical changes in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Background: There is currently no well-established medical treatment of NASH. It is believed that oxidative stress plays a major role in hepatic damage in these patients.

Study: Cases of biopsy-proven NASH referring to a referral center in Tehran during a 12-month period were included in the study. Viral, autoimmune and other hepatic diseases were excluded. Alcohol ingestion was excluded by repeated questioning of the patient and at least two family members. Patients were given 500mg of probucol daily for 6 months. Serum levels of liver enzymes, the serum lipid profile, and weight was recorded monthly.

Results: A total of 17 patients completed the study. The mean age was 37.2 years, 13 patients were male and 4 female. The mean pretreatment value of ALT and AST was 93.5 and 80.4 U/L, and the mean posttreatment value was 41.8 and 35.9 U/L respectively ( = 0.001 and 0.006).

Conclusion: Probucol, even in the low dose of 500 mg/d, appears to be significantly effective in decreasing the ALT and AST levels in patients with NASH.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Fatty Liver / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probucol / administration & dosage
  • Probucol / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antioxidants
  • Probucol