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Cat's claw trials for rheumatoid arthritis

In this trial, 40 participants with rheumatoid arthritis took part in the following phases:

  • Phase A – participants were randomised to receive either cat’s claw tablets (60 mg of Uncariae tomentosae) or placebo tablets once a day for 24 weeks
  • Phase B – both treatment groups took cat’s claw for an additional 28 weeks.

All participants were asked to continue their usual treatment of sulfasalazine or hydroxychloroquine during both phases of the trial.

  • 53% of participants given cat’s claw in phase A reported a significant reduction in the number of painful joints compared to only 24% of participants who started on placebo tablets.
  • Participants in both groups didn’t differ with respect to morning stiffness and number of tender or swollen joints during this period.
  • Significant beneficial effects on all clinical aspects were observed in participants who were given cat’s claw for both phases when compared to the placebo group.
  • Minor side-effects (like stomach upsets) were reported in participants who received cat’s claw.


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