According to a recent study, an old drug promises to slow down the progress of the dreadful autoimmune disease scleroderma or systemic sclerosis.
About 3,00,000 Americans were found to be affected by the fatal disease Scleroderma, which destroys our system by hardening and thickening the skin and in many times it completely damages the lungs and other related organs. Nearly 80% of affected people have lung damaged more often it includes women only.
When comparing the benefits with after effects of a usual drug named cyclophosphamide, or Cytoxan, used to treat cancer and some autoimmune disorders, only minimum benefits were evidenced.
The study authors reported that 158 scleroderma patients from the country's hospital were assigned at random into 2 groups, which includes experimental group (taking Cytoxan pills) and control group (taking only dummy pills) 1 per day for a period of 1 year.
Throughout the year they were monitered, and the results show only a little improvement in using Cytoxan group of drugs although there seems a statistically significant difference - said Dr. Philip J. Clements, a rheumatologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was a co-author of the study.
One among the adverse effects of using Cytoxan group of drugs was low white blood cell count, says author.
Dr. Clements reported in an interview that beyond many studies Cytoxan with little side effects for scleroderma patients only proves in part to benefit scleroderma patients with lung damage.
Since having adverse effects in the long-term use of the drug, researchers urged to carry out a follow up of this study in a fast rate.