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Interferon Side Effects - Follow Up Question
Nov 27, 2004

Thank you for your quick response. There are lots of sites on the internet speaking of suicide, blindness, heart attack and other awful side effects. What is the % of people this actually represents? Also, do you believe herbal therapy can help?

Response from Dr. McGovern

The side effects which you list above are actually uncommon. However,because they are devastating, it is very important that patients who are treated with these medications have appropriate evaluation and follow-up by their physician. Evaluation may include a stress test for patients at risk of heart disease, an eye exam particularly in the setting of diabetes and high blood pressure problems, and evaluation for depression if symptoms arise before or during treatment.

I have not read any study which has been convincing of the beneficial effect of herbal medications. At this point, I would only be certain to discuss any use of these medications with your physician to be certain that you are not taking anything which is potentially harmful. We all must remember that most medications are broken down in the liver.

Dr. McGovern



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