COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS AND ADVERSE EFFECTS OF INTERFERON ALPHA-2b PLUS RIBAVIRIN THERAPY IN HEPATITIS ‘C’ FOR 26 WEEKS
AbstractBackground: Hepatitis C is major emerging challenge for pathologists and treating physicians allover the world. Already 10 million Pakistani population has become anti-HCV positive. It is notonly affecting hepatobiliary system but with passage of time research is revealing that Hepatitis Cis going to involve almost every organ of the body. With timely diagnosis and treatment, millionsof patients can be saved from morbidity and mortality. The nation has to sacrifice initial economicallocations to avoid later millions of mortalities and greater economic losses on affected patientsand to support their families. The objective of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of combinetherapy of Hepatitis C in local population of Pakistan. Methods: This case series study was doneat CMH Okara, Kohat, Abbottabad, and PAF Hospital, Shorkot from August 2000 to August2009. All 1,000 patients from 10 to 60 years of age, confirmed anti-HCV Positive by ELISA andPCR Positive for HCV RNA, were subjected to Interferon alpha-2b and Ribavirin therapy forsimilar period of time. Response and adverse affects were observed by clinical examination, bloodcomplete picture including platelet count and ALT fortnightly. PCR for HCV RNA and ultrasoundabdomen (hepatobilliary system) was done quarterly during treatment and 6 monthly for 2 yearsafter treatment to review the sustained response and relapse. Results: Over all cure rate after 2years was 855 (85.5%) excluding the 50 (5%) of initial resistant to one year treatment and 95(9.5%) re-treated relapse cases. One hundred and forty-five (14.5%) patients were found to beresistant to treatment. Conclusion: Hepatitis C must be treated timely after proper diagnosis.Interferon and Ribavirin combination have shown high ‘cure’ rate in Hepatitis C. In spite of highcure rate of 85.5% with timely and proper treatment, low socio-economic status is a majorproblem for poor individuals to get treatment. Preventive aspect must be strictly followed andimplemented.Keywords: HCV, Anti-HCV, PCR, ALT, ELISA, Interferon alpha-2b, Ribavirin, Adverse effects
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