Efficacy and safety of peginterferon alfa-2a/ribavirin in methadone maintenance patients: Randomized comparison of direct observed therapy and self-administration

Herbert L. Bonkovsky, Alan D. Tice, Rockford G. Yapp, Henry C. Bodenheimer, Alexander Monto, Stephen J. Rossi, Mark S. Sulkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Adherence to chronic hepatitis C (CHC) treatment may be particularly challenging in methadone maintenance patients. We assessed the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of peginterferon alfa-2a/ribavirin treatment in methadone maintenance patients previously untreated for CHC. METHODS: Patients were randomized 1:1 to direct observed therapy (DOT) or self-administration (SA) of peginterferon alfa-2a. DOT patients were seen weekly at methadone clinics; SA patients were seen less frequently, only at investigative sites. Genotype 1-infected patients were treated for 48 wk with peginterferon alfa-2a (180 μg/wk)/ribavirin (1,000/1,200 mg/day); genotypes 2- and 3-infected patients were treated for 24 wk with peginterferon alfa-2a (180 μg/wk)/ribavirin (800 mg/day). RESULTS: Based on defined efficacy stopping rules, 77% (37/48) completed their targeted length of treatment, and 44% (21/48) achieved sustained virologic response (SVR). Two DOT and 3 SA patients were withdrawn for safety reasons and 6 and 9, respectively, for nonsafety reasons. Over 60% and 50% of each group were >80% compliant with the planned cumulative doses of peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin, respectively, and over 60% with overall treatment duration. SVR rates were 54% (13/24) for DOT and 33% (8/24) for SA; 23% (3/13) and 38% (6/16), respectively, for genotype 1 and 91% (10/11) and 25% (2/8), respectively, for genotypes 2 and 3. Stepwise logistic regression analysis, showed that DOT (vs SA; OR 3.27, 95% CI 0.90-11.91, P = 0.073) and Caucasian race (vs Other; OR 13.31, 95% CI 1.42-124.71, P = 0.023) were predictors of SVR. CONCLUSION: Peginterferon alfa-2a/ribavirin can be used safely and successfully in CHC patients receiving methadone maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2757-2765
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume103
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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