Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and glutathione (GSH) in treating chronic hepatitis B patients.
Methods: Seventy-five patients with chronic hepatitis B were treated daily with an injection containing the same basic therapeutic drugs and randomly divided into a NAC group (50 patients) and a GSH group (25 patients). A daily dose of 8 grams of NAC and 1.2 grams of GSH was added to the injections of the two groups respectively. The trial lasted 28 days. Hepatic function and other biochemistry parameters (TBil, PTA, ALB et al) were tested on experimental day 0 and on days 7, 14, 21 and 28. The evaluation on the total effective rates of the NAC and GSH groups was based on the decreases of serum TBil and the increases of PTA.
Results: Both NAC and GSH have therapeutic effects. The total effective rate was 84% in the NAC group and 72% in the GSH group. The rate of side effects was 13% in the NAC group.
Conclusion: NAC and GSH can decrease the level of serum TBil and increase PTA, but NAC was more effective in decreasing TBil than GSH. Serious adverse effects of NAC were not observed during the period of our treatment.