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Eur Addict Res. 2007;13(4):216-21.

Hepatitis C treatment of opioid dependants receiving maintenance treatment: results of a Norwegian pilot study.

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1
Unit for Addiction Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, and Clinic of Abuse and Dependence, Aker University Hospital HF, Oslo, Norway. aud.krook@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many physicians are still skeptic to treat opioid dependants, with or without maintenance treatment, for hepatitis C (HCV) because of concerns about psychiatric comorbidity, stability and adherence. In Norway, there are about 3,500 patients participating in the restrictive medication-assisted rehabilitation (LAR) programs in which all patients are given methadone or buprenorphine maintenance therapy. This study was undertaken to determine whether HCV combination therapy with pegylated interferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin is feasible, efficient and safe in this patient group.

METHOD:

Seventeen patients with HCV genotype 3a were treated for 24 weeks. To optimize compliance, the treatment was given from a department of infectious diseases in cooperation with an LAR center. All injections were given in the LAR center and the patients were given psychosocial support.

RESULTS:

The compliance was 100%. All responded to the therapy and 16 (94%) were sustained responders.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION:

This study indicates that compliance and treatment outcome of opioid dependants on methadone or buprenorphine maintenance after 24 weeks of HCV treatment corresponds to that for non-dependants if extra support is given. The treatment should be undertaken in collaboration with specialists in addiction medicine, hepatology and infectious diseases.

PMID:
17851243
DOI:
10.1159/000104884
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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