High-dose oral thiamine versus placebo for chronic fatigue in patients with primary biliary cholangitis: A crossover randomized clinical trial

Palle Bager*, Lars Bossen, Rasmus Gantzel, Henning Grønbæk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background &aims Fatigue has high negative impact on many patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and treatment options are limited. Recently we showed favorable effects of four weeks of high-dose thiamine treatment on fatigue in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. We aimed to investigate the effect and safety of high-dose (600-1800 mg daily) oral thiamine treatment on chronic fatigue in patients with PBC. Methods Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover trial including patients with severe PBC-related fatigue. Participants were allocated 1:1 to either group 1)4 weeks of high-dose thiamine, 4 weeks of washout, and 4 weeks of placebo; or group 2) 4 weeks of placebo, washout, and high-dose thiamine, respectively. Fatigue severity was quantified using the fatigue subscale of the PBC-40 questionnaire. The primary outcome was a fatigue reduction of > 5 points after 4 weeks of high-dose thiamine treatment. Results We enrolled 36 patients; 34 completed the study. The overall mean reduction in fatigue was 5.0 points (95% CI: 2.5 to 7.5; p < 0.001) for the combined group 1 and group 2. Crossover analysis showed a mean increase in fatigue of 0.3 points (95% CI: -4.2 to 3.8) after high-dose thiamine treatment compared to a 1.4 points (95% CI: 6.2 to-3.4) mean reduction after placebo (p = 0.55). Only mild and transient adverse events were recorded. Conclusion Four weeks of high-dose oral thiamine treatment in patients with PBC was well tolerated and safe. However, high-dose thiamine was not superior to placebo in reducing PBC-related fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0301354
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume19
Issue3
Number of pages11
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary
  • Thiamine/therapeutic use
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome

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