We investigated the efficacy of orally and topically applied Pycnogenol for the management of acute hemorrhoidal attacks in a controlled, randomized study with 84 subjects. Within less than 48 h of onset of an acute attack, patients were enrolled and signs and symptoms were scored. This evaluation was repeated after seven days' treatment and again seven days following treatment cessation. The decrease in scores was significantly more pronounced in the Pycnogenol-treated groups than in the control group given placebo (p < 0.05), showing the efficacy of Pycnogenol for relieving signs and symptoms of acute external hemorrhoids. In a group of patients given topical (0.5%) Pycnogenol in addition to oral Pycnogenol the improvement in symptoms set in significantly faster and was more pronounced. The most prominent symptom, hemorrhoidal bleeding, was completely absent in all patients treated with Pycnogenol for seven days and also at the 14 days follow-up. In contrast, bleedings were still observed in the control group during the two weeks follow-up. This study indicates that Pycnogenol, both in oral and in topical form, is effective for controlling this common, disabling health problem. The application of Pycnogenol eases the management of acute hemorrhoidal attacks and help avoid bleedings.
(c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.