The optimal dose, frequency and duration of interferon alpha 2b and ribavirin combination for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C is still not clear. Preliminary hepatitis C virus kinetic studies have suggested that daily interferon (IFN) is more advantageous than less frequent administration. This report documents the preliminary findings of an investigative protocol to evaluate the efficacy of long-term (12 month), daily IFN alpha 2b and ribavirin combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C patients, who have either relapsed (relapsers) or not responded (non-responders) to previous IFN therapy. METHODS: 25 non-cirrhotic HCV patients were enrolled in an attempt to treat protocol. Patients were administered 3 million units (MU) IFN alpha 2b subcutaneously (SQ) and ribavirin 1000-1200 mg PO on a daily basis. RESULTS: Four patients were removed from the protocol because of noncompliance. The remaining 21 patients (10 relapsers, 11 non-responders) were evaluated at the end of their 12th week of treatment. Twelve patients (57%) became HCV-RNA negative and nine patients (43%) remain positive at the end of this period. CONCLUSION: Although further studies on larger patient populations are necessary, our preliminary data suggests that daily IFN alpha 2b and ribavirin treatment is highly effective, especially among patients who have relapsed from previous IFN treatment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||The Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association|
|State||Published - Dec 1999|
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