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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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Treatment for Hepatitis C not so easy.
Nov 27, 2000

I work for an Infectious Diseases physician. We have had numerous people of Rebetron therapy for Hep C. I saw in your answer to a question and read in Schering's literature that the side effects are like that of a cold. We have not been that lucky. Our patient's have been extremely miserable with the treatment and several have had to stop before finishing their course of therapy. I just wonder if the side effects are being downplayed or perhaps we have a population with more problems. The people are not THAT sick when they begin. Mostly malaise and fatigue. And their monitored lab work remains okay. I think in all honesty people should be told that it is going to be a difficult treatment. I feel this is downplayed, just from what I have witnessed. We have stopped treating patients with Rebetron and are hoping to have better results when Pegylated Interferon is improved.

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

The side effect profile the the Peg is about the same as Rebetron. However the quality of life of people who take the Peg is significantly better. It is not a walk in the park and it probably depends on how badly you suffer with colds. On the other hand,if you treat the symptoms that the patients are suffering from, it is easier to continue,but it takes work and committment from both the patients and the caregivers. We use antidepressants, appetite, stimulants, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, whatever it takes to get people through their year of therapy. It is not forever and the potential reward is a cure! DTD



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