Objective: Thrombocytopenia in dengue fever is a common and serious complication. However, no specific treatment is available for dengue fever induced thrombocytopenia. In few countries (Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries) the leaf extract of Carica papaya has been effectively used for thrombocytopenia. So, the study is planned to access effect of Carica papaya leaf extract on platelet count in dengue fever patients.
Methods: All participants were randomised into two groups, study group and control group; the study group was given papaya leaf extract capsule of 500 mg once daily and routine supportive treatment for consecutive five days. The controls were given only routine supportive treatment. Daily complete blood counts, platelet counts and haematocrit level, liver function test, renal function test of both groups were observed.
Results: On the first day platelet count of study group and control group was (59.82±18.63, 61.06±20.03 thousands, p value 0.36). On the 2nd day platelet count of both study and control groups was not significantly different (61.67±19.46 and 59.93±19.52 thousands, p value 0.20) but on 3rd day platelet count of study group was significantly higher than control group (82.96±16.72, 66.45±17.36 thousands, p value < 0.01). On 4th and 5th day platelet count of study group (122.43±19.36 and 112.47±17.49 thousands respectively) was also significantly higher than the control group (88.75±21.65 and 102.59±19.35 thousands) (p value < 0.01). On 7th day platelet count of study group and control group were not significantly different (124.47±12.35 and 122.46±19.76 thousands respectively, p value 0.08). Average hospitalization period of study group v/s control group was 3.65±0.97 v/s 5.42±0.98 days (p value < 0.01). Average platelet transfusion requirement in study group was significantly less than control group (0.685 units per patient v/s 1.19 units per patient) (p value <0.01).
Conclusions: It is concluded that Carica papaya leaf extract increases the platelet count in dengue fever without any side effect and prevents the complication of thrombocytopenia. So, it can be used in dengue fever with thrombocytopenia patients.