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J Infect Chemother. 2014 Aug;20(8):489-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2014.04.009. Epub 2014 May 22.

Interferon-beta plus ribavirin therapy can be safely and effectively administered to elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Author information

  • 1The Center for Liver Disease, Shin-kokura Hospital, Kitakyushu, Japan. Electronic address: h-nomura@shin-kokura.gr.jp.
  • 2The Center for Liver Disease, Shin-kokura Hospital, Kitakyushu, Japan.

Abstract

AIM:

This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of interferon-beta plus ribavirin therapy in older Japanese patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

This study enrolled 132 older patients (age, ≥65 years) with chronic hepatitis C who received 24-48 weeks of interferon-beta plus ribavirin (FR; n = 66) or pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin (PR; n = 66) therapy.

RESULTS:

Patients with the ITPA genotype (CA/AA) in the PR group had significantly greater decreases in hemoglobin levels than those in the FR group at or after week 8. The proportions of patients with a dose reduction of interferon-beta and ribavirin in the FR group were significantly lower than those in the PR group. A significantly higher proportion of patients completed treatment in the FR group than in the PR group. The sustained virological response (intention-to-treat analysis) rate of naïve patients with genotype 1 was 29% (6 of 21) in the PR group and 29% (6 of 21) in the FR group. The sustained virological response (intention-to-treat) rate of those with genotype 2 was 67% (12 of 18) in the PR group and 72% (13 of 18) in the FR group.

CONCLUSION:

Interferon-beta plus ribavirin therapy was safe in elderly patients, with lower proportions of patients with a dose reduction of interferon-beta or ribavirin and treatment discontinuation. In treatment-naïve patients, the sustained virological response rate was similar between interferon-beta plus ribavirin therapy and pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin therapy, regardless of whether the patients had hepatitis C virus genotype 1 or 2.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic hepatitis C; Interferon-beta plus ribavirin; Older patients; Pegylated interferon plus ribavirin; Treatment discontinuation

PMID:
24857619
DOI:
10.1016/j.jiac.2014.04.009
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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