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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Elk Antler as an Arthritis Treatment Alternative

04/06/2007

Question:

Is there any fact based or research based evidence that elk velvet antler is benefical in the treatment of arthritis? Is it FDA approved? Would you prescribe it for your patient? If not what would be your reasoning?

Answer:

Elk velvet antler does not have U.S. FDA approval for the treatment of any arthritic condition. In a database search on PubMed, there was only one human preclinical trial using elk velvet antler in an arthritic condition - rheumatoid arthritis. In this Canadian trial, no statistically significant improvement in health status was noted with elk velvet antler supplement.

Therefore, there is no current human clinical data that would lead me to suggest this supplement in the treatment of arthritis. As with any dietary or "natural supplement," the appropriate dose, side effects, and drug/supplement interactions may not be well known as they have not undergone the rigors of clinical trials required for FDA prescription drug approval.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University