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Dig Dis Sci. 1997 Jan;42(1):178-85.

Effect of obesity on pharmacokinetics and biologic effect of interferon-alpha in hepatitis C.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, The University of Illinois, Chicago 60612, USA.


To examine potential adverse effects of obesity in reducing the response to interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) in chronic hepatitis C (HCV), IFN-alpha and HCV RNA levels in serum and the 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase (2-5 OAS) levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were compared between six obese and five nonobese patients before and after a single, 10 mIU dose of IFN-alpha2b. There were no differences in the mean histologic activity index between the two groups. The maximal IFN concentration and the area under the serum IFN concentration-time curve were higher in nonobese patients. These two parameters were inversely correlated with body weight and body surface area. No differences were found in the mean reduction in HCV RNA levels between the two groups following IFN-alpha. The maximal 2-5 OAS level after treatment divided by the pretreatment 2-5 OAS level (2-5 OAS response ratio) was greater in the nonobese patients, suggesting stronger biologic response upon exposure to exogenous IFN-alpha in nonobese patients.

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