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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2006 Jun;7(9):1163-79.

Treatment of interferon-alpha for chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi-Kamimachi, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan.


Combination therapy with polyethylene glycosylated IFN-alpha2a or IFN-alpha2b and ribavirin is currently the standard therapy for chronic hepatitis C. However, even with this therapy, hepatitis C virus cannot be eradicated in 50% of patients with refractory chronic hepatitis C. In addition, withdrawal or dose reduction occurs in approximately 40% of patients due to adverse effects. This treatment is also a contraindication in some patients, such as in patients with coexisting diseases or in elderly patients. For these patients, standard IFN-alpha monotherapy is even safer and more effective. In patients with chronic hepatitis C, IFN-alpha monotherapy results in a significant increase in the cumulative survival rate by suppressing the progression to hepatocellular carcinoma or liver failure. In addition, other efficacious therapeutic regimens have been employed, such as prolonged administration of standard IFN-alpha in elderly patients; prolonged low-dose continuous administration in patients with decompensated cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma postoperative patients; and combination therapy with 5-fluorouracil and standard IFN-alpha for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Monotherapy with standard IFN-alpha should thus be recognised as one of the important therapeutic strategies for chronic hepatitis C.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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