[MOL] What about Hydrazine sulfate? Alt. meds. [00269] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] What about Hydrazine sulfate? Alt. meds.

What About...?

Originally published in Mayo Clinic Health Letter, June 1997

Q. I've heard there's a miracle cancer treatment called hydrazine sulfate. Does it work?

A. Hydrazine sulfate has received considerable attention in the media recently, but despite what you've heard, it's not a miracle cure. In fact, hydrazine sulfate is not even approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for cancer. Furthermore, some cancer study participants have reported a lower quality of life after taking hydrazine sulfate.

Hydrazine sulfate is a chemical that affects your metabolism. Cancer also affects your metabolism, often causing rapid weight loss, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite. Some small studies have suggested that hydrazine sulfate could offset cancer's effect on your metabolism and help you gain weight.

That research led the National Cancer Institute to commission three studies of hydrazine sulfate in 1994. Half of the more than 600 participants were given hydrazine sulfate, while the others took a placebo.

None of those studies found that hydrazine sulfate improved survival or helped people gain weight. In fact, when participants were asked to rate their quality of life, those who had been taking hydrazine sulfate reported a lower quality of life than those taking a placebo.

Researchers continue to look for new ways to help you maintain your appetite and weight if you have cancer. In the meantime, your doctor can choose from a variety of safe and effective medications to help in this regard. But hydrazine sulfate isn't one of them.

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