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Milk Thistle effectiveness and Lamivudine as monotherapy
Jun 15, 2000

I was diagnosed Hep-B 18 months ago and began Lamivudine monotherapy(100 mg daily) 14 months ago. I have also been taking Milk Thistle daily (200mg). What has been your experience with the effectiveness of Milk Thistle - it seems to have more believers in Europe. Also I am concerned with mutation of Lamivudine monotherapy. My hep doctor is not concerned even though I've presented evidence that Lamivudine may be more effective, with no mutation in conjunction with another antiviral. I am not a candidate for interferon therapy, due to previous problems with despression. Thank you. BN in Santa Barbara

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Dear BN,

Many people take milk thistle in the US too. It does seem to lower enzyme levels, but does not do anything to the virus. You are right to worry about resistance with lamivudine monotherapy. It can be as high as 40% after one year. On the other hand, the resistant virus may be less fit, so that is not all bad. There is no other approved drug for hepatitis B. However famciclovir may have some activity against it and you can ask your MD about that drug in addition to lamivudine. DTD



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