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Hep C, Cirrhosis, and Varices
Dec 18, 2000

Dr. Dieterich:

I have Hep C, cirrhosis, and am being treated for varices in my esophagus (December will mark my third procedure). Combo therapy did not work for me, so I am currently not on any meds for the Hep C. My ankles are swollen so my MD is treating that. My MD has said that I will more than likely need a liver transplant in the future. This, of course, scares me. I have just heard about Pegylated Interferon..what is it and is this a treatment I should try given my situation?

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Pegylated interferon is the same interferon that has a molecule of polyethylene glycol attached to it. It only has to be administered once weekly, which is much easier and more effective. There are two trials now looking at long term low dose interferon for people with cirrhosis. They are named COPILOT and HALT C. They are generally looking for people who have compensated cirrhosis, you sound like you are decompensated. Peg might help you, but first I would get myself to the liver transplant people and get on the list. Then talk to your MD about low dose Peg for cirrhosis. DTD

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