Objective: To observe the clinical efficacy of tetrandrine combined with acetylcysteine effervescent tablets in the treatment of silicosis.
Methods: A total of 96 patients with silicosis were randomly divided into treatment group (49 cases) and control group (47 cases). Both groups were given routine therapy including anti-inflammatory, antitussive, and antiasthmatic drugs, and the patients in treatment group were given tetrandrine combined with acetylcysteine effervescent tablets at the same time. Tetrandrine (100 mg) was orally administrated twice a day, and there was a one-day interval between every 6 days' continuous administration; totally, there were four courses of treatment, with 3 months for each course, and there was a one-month break between each course. Acetylcysteine effervescent tablets (600 mg) were taken twice a day; each course of treatment was 12 days, and there were four courses; for the first two months, there was one course per month, and then one course every other two months for the rest of time. Clinical symptoms, pulmonary ventilation function, serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) and changes in X-ray findings were observed.
Results: After treatment, the treatment group had significantly increased rates of improvements in cough, expectoration, chest congestion and pain, and dyspnea compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Compared with the control group (serum SOD level: 70.466±20.261 U/ml) and the treatment group before therapy (serum SOD level: 68.182±21.414 U/ml), the treatment group after therapy had significantly increased serum SOD level (77.389±21.315 U/ml?, forced vital capacity, and forced expiratory volume in one second (P < 0.05). Eight patients in treatment group showed improvement in the chest X-ray findings of silicosis.
Conclusion: The combination of tetrandrine and acetylcysteine effervescent tablets show some effect in the treatment of silicosis. It can be an effective option for treating silicosis as there are no other specific remedies.