Modulation of α-interferon's antiviral and clinical effects by aspirin, acetaminophen, and prednisone in healthy volunteers

Craig W. Hendrix, Brent G. Petty, Amina Woods, Steven K. Kuwahara, Frank R. Witter, Whaijen Soo, Diane E. Griffin, Paul S Lietman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The magnitude and duration of the antiviral and clinical effect of α-interferon was measured in healthy volunteers. A single 3 million unit intramuscular dose of interferon was given either alone (controls) or after 72 h of concomitant medications. These medications included either aspirin (650 mg every 4 h), acetaminophen (650 mg every 4 h), or prednisone (40 mg per day). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were assayed for resistance to vesicular stomatitis virus infection and induction of 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase activity as evidence of interferon's antiviral effect. Co-administration of acetaminophen increased both antiviral parameters by more than 70% (P < 0.05) and reduced symptoms after interferon dosing, compared to controls. Aspirin and prednisone did not demonstrate any significant differences from controls in antiviral effect. As a group, acetaminophen, aspirin, and prednisone reduced the clinical symptoms by 47% compared to controls (P = 0.03) after interferon dosing, although individual drug comparisons failed to reach statistical significance. Independent of treatment group, the changes in antiviral markers after interferon dosing correlated closely with each other (r = 0.72, P < 0.001), but neither correlated with symptoms or fever (r < 0.30, P > 0.05). Acetaminophen enhances the antiviral effects of a single intramuscular dose of α-interferon, considering the parameters measured in these healthy volunteers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalAntiviral Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • 2′,5′-Oligoadenylate synthetase
  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin
  • Drug interaction
  • Prednisone
  • Vesicular stomatitis virus
  • α-Interferon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology


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