RESPONSE TO STANDARD INTERFERON A2b AND RIBAVIRIN COMBINATION THERAPY IN CHRONIC HEPATITIS C TREATMENT NAÏVE PATIENTS
AbstractBackground: Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C is now well established with conventional interferon orpegylated interferon in combination with ribavirin. Peginterferon Alfa and Ribavirin for 6 to 12 monthsis currently approved initial therapy, which is expensive. Response of our patients to standardInterferon-alpha-2b and ribavirin for 24 weeks have been studied. The objective of this study was toasses Sustained Viral Response (SVR) with standard Interferon A2b and Ribavirin combinationtreatment in chronic Hepatitis C patients. Methods: This quasi-experimental study was conducted atCombined Military Hospital, Quetta from Jan 2006 to Jun 2007. One hundred and three patients, with20–60 years of age suffering from chronic Hepatitis C were selected on the basis of raised ALT,positive anti-HCV antibodies, evidence of viraemia by quantitative PCR for HCV RNA and liverbiopsy. All patients were started on same brand of Interferon alpha-2b, 3 MIU subcutaneously, thriceweekly and oral Ribavirin (1,000–1,200 mg/day) for 24 weeks. End treatment response (ETR) aftercompletion of treatment and SVR six months after ETR were recorded. Results: The 103 patients, 85males and 18 females with mean age of 21–48 years completed the treatment for 24 weeks. Mean ALTwas 96.17 (SD±49.98). End treatment response (ETR) was 89.3% (p=0.032). Sustained Viral Responseafter 6 months of treatment was 86.4% (p=0.034). Conclusion: Standard Interferon and Ribavirin hadexcellent SVR. It is effective as well as economical treatment in Chronic Hepatitis C patients.Keywords: Chronic Hepatitis C, Interferon A2b, Ribavirin, SVR
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