Drugs A - Z

Octacosanol

treats Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Generic Name: octacosanol

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

1-octacosanol, (3)H-octacosanol, cluytyl alcohol, montanyl alcohol, n-octacosanol, octacosanoic acid, policosanol, Suregada angustifolia (Baill. ex Muell. Arg.), very long chain fatty alcohols.

Background

Policosanol is a mixture of very long chain alcohols that is purified from sugar cane wax. Approximately 67% of policosanol is octacosanol. Although some research has been conducted using policosanol, little research is currently available that focuses on octacosanol alone. One preliminary clinical study in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease- a chronic, progressive, neurologic disease in which loss of nerve cells produces muscle paralysis) patients showed no measurable benefit from octacosanol. As octacosanol is the main component of policosanol, more research is needed to determine if octacosanol is the primary active component of policosanol.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease is a chronic, progressive, neurologic disease in which loss of nerve cells produces muscle paralysis. Preliminary study does not show any evidence of benefit in neurologic (brain) or pulmonary (lung) symptoms of amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Additional study is needed in this area.
Grade: D

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD, a rapidly progressive X-linked genetic degenerative disorder), antibacterial, antioxidant, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), cardiovascular health, coronary heart disease, fatigue, granuloma annulare (chronic skin condition), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), intermittent claudication (muscle pain), ischemic heart disease, liver damage from drugs or toxins, neurologic disorders (Sjogren-Larsson syndrome), osteoporosis (postmenopausal), Parkinson's disease, platelet aggregation inhibition (blood disorder), reactivity/brain activity, seizure disorder, stroke prevention.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for octacosanol in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for octacosanol in children.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to octacosanol or policosanol.

Side Effects and Warnings

Octacosanol is the main component of policosanol. Little research is currently available on octacosanol alone. Therefore, the safety information is based on research conducted on policosanol.

Use octacosanol cautiously in patients taking nitrates.

Use cautiously in patients who are taking other lipid lowering drugs/herbs, such as acipimox, statins, bile acid sequestrants/resins, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors such as ezetimibe, fish oil, plant stanols/sterols, polyphenols, as well as nutraceuticals such as oat bran, psyllium, and soy proteins, due to potential additive blood-cholesterol lowering effects.

Use cautiously in patients taking aspirin due to potential additive platelet inhibition and risk of bleeding.

Use cautiously when using with drugs that lower blood pressure due to potential additive effects.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Octacosanol is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

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