The latest research & treatment news about Hepatitis C infection, diagnosis, symptoms and treatment.

Menu Search

Interferon alpha with ribavirin for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C in non-responders or relapsers to interferon monotherapy.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1998 Aug;12(8):717-723

Moreno-Monteagudo JA, Fernandez-Bermejo M, Garcia-Buey L, Sanz P, Iacono LO, Garcia-Monzon C, Borque MJ, Moreno-Otero R

Liver Unit, Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain. [email protected]

BACKGROUND:

A more effective therapy for chronic Hepatitis C virus-infected patients is needed. AIM: To evaluate the efficacy, tolerance and timing of response to interferon alpha plus ribavirin in 60 patients with no response or reactivation after interferon alpha alone.

METHODS:

Sixty patients, 42 non-responders and 18 relapsers, received 3 million units three times weekly of interferon alpha-2b plus 1-1.2 g ribavirin daily, for 6 months. Basal biochemical and virological (HCV RNA and genotype) parameters were determined. Clinical examination, recording adverse effects, and laboratory tests, including viraemia, were carried out at 1, 2, 3 and 6 months.

RESULTS:

A significant (P < 0.001) progressive decrease of HCV RNA and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels was observed during treatment. On finalizing the sixth month, 42 patients (70%) had normal ALT and 26 (43.3%) were HCV RNA negative. Of these 26 complete responders, in 20 the viraemia was undetectable by the third month, while a late clearance at the sixth month of treatment was observed in six patients. Response rates were higher in previous responders to interferon alone (P < 0.05). Mild adverse effects appeared in 46 patients (79.6%), but only three were withdrawn due to serious side-effects. Significantly (P < 0.001), haemoglobin and leucocytes decreased, and bilirubin, ferritin and uric acid increased in the first month of treatment, with no changes thereafter.

CONCLUSIONS:

Interferon alpha plus ribavirin progressively decreased HCV RNA and ALT levels, achieving a complete response in the six months of treatment in 26 (43.3%) patients. This combined therapy was well tolerated.

PMID: 9726383, UI: 98392984