Tranilast: A review of its therapeutic applications

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Abstract

Tranilast (N-[3′,4′-dimethoxycinnamoyl]-anthranilic acid) is an analog of a tryptophan metabolite. Initially, tranilast was identified as an anti-allergic agent, and used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, such as bronchial asthma, atypical dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, keloids and hypertrophic scars. Subsequently, the results showed that it could be also effective in the management of a wide range of conditions. The beneficial effects of tranilast have also been seen in a variety of disease states, such as fibrosis, proliferative disorders, cancer, cardiovascular problems, autoimmune disorders, ocular diseases, diabetes and renal diseases. Moreover, several trials have shown that it has very low adverse effects and it is generally well tolerated by patients. In this review, we have attempted to accurately summarize previously published studies relating to the use of tranilast for a range of disorders and discuss the drug's possible mode of action. The major mode of the drug's efficacy appears to be the suppression of the expression and/or action of the TGF-β pathway, but the drug affects other factors as well. The findings presented in this review demonstrate the potential of tranilast for the control of a vast array of pathological situations, furthermore, it is a prescribed drug without severe side effects.

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