RESEARCHERS at the Regional Research
Laboratory (RRL) in Jammu have sought
government approval for a novel anti-TB
therapy containing the pepper extract,
piperine. The extract is to be used in
addition to the standard TB drugs. The
molecules of piperine have a unique
ability to increase the effectiveness of
conventional anti-TB drugs through
what scientists call a 'bio availability
enhancing effect. This will help doctors
in reducing the dosage of the standard drugs. According to RRL scientists, this
will make treatment safer, cheaper and
Scientists at RRL contend that a 220- mg dose of the anti-TB drug rifampicin, given in combination with piperine, has the same biological effect as 450 mg rifampicin alone. The drug was developed serendipitously when RRL scientists were investigating ancient herbal prescriptions. They saw that in many ancient formulations, a blend of drugs called Trikatu appeared. The RRL team found piperine in two of the individual components of the herbal blend.
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