Artemisinin and its derivatives are among the most effective antimalarial drugs used today. This study compared the effects of pre-treatment with vitamin C and folic acid on the hepatotoxic effect of artemisinin combination. Thirty male wistar rats randomly assigned to six groups of five rats each were used in the study. Group A was the normal control; groups B, C, D, E and F were placed on therapeutic doses of leonart, leonart+vitamin C, leonart + folic acid, vitamin C and folic acid respectively. They were pretreated with the respective supplements for 28 days while administration of leonart was carried out for four days starting from the 24th day of supplements administration. The rats were thereafter sacrificed by cervical dislocation after an overnight fasting. Serum prepared from the whole blood and homogenized liver were then used for analysis. The result indicates that leonart administration raised the level of malaondialdehyde, serum total, conjugated bilirubin and the activities of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). It however decreases the activities of liver catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) level. Combined administration of leonart with vitamin C restored these parameters to pretreatment levels. Neither separate nor combined administration of folic acid with leonart altered any of these parameters.
Key words: Leonart, hepatotoxicity, artemisinin, antimalarial, oxidative stress.
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