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Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2015 Feb;8(2):85-9. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(14)60193-0.

Effect of interferon plus ribavirin therapy on hepatitis C virus genotype 3 patients from Pakistan: Treatment response, side effects and future prospective.

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Atta ur Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Islamabad 44000, Pakistan; Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, DHA Phase 1, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan. Electronic address:


More than 10 million people are suffering from hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Pakistan. The available treatment option is a combination of interferon and ribavirin. Treatment response is linked with several factors and also induces a number of side effects. We searched in Pubmed, Pak Medi Net and Google Scholar for the articles presenting the effect of interferon plus ribavirin therapy on HCV patients from Pakistan, their side effects and future prospects. The major prevalent HCV genotype in Pakistan is 3. Conventional interferon alpha plus ribavirin showed sustained virological response of 54%-64% while pegylated interferon alpha plus ribavirin showed sustained virological response of 58%-75%. IL-28B CC genotype is linked with better sustained virological response. Studies on patients with HCV genotype 3 infections showed no correlation between treatment response and interferon sensitivity determining region mutations. Interferon therapy is linked with a number of side effects like thyroid dysfuncton, haematological disorders, weight loss, gastrointestinal tract side effects and neuropsychiatric side effects. Unusual side effects of clubbing of fingers and seizures were also observed in a couple of patients. Interferon alpha plus ribavirin therapy showed better response rate in HCV genotype 3 patients from Pakistan with number of side effects. A couple of interferon free therapies are light of hope for the patients living with HCV.


Genotype 3; Hepatitis C virus; Interferon therapy

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