Jan 26, 2005
Hi Doctor. My husband is HIV positive and is also undergoing second round of treatment with Pegasus and Copegus after failing 48 months on Pegintron and Rebetol. He has 5 more months to go on the Copegus, however he is becoming anemic and is also developing heart concerns. He doesn't want to stop the medication now since both viral loads are undetectable at this point. My question is, is there anything that can be done to treat the anemia or do you think he should stop the Hep C medication? Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Response from Dr. McGovern
Anemia can commonly occur while patients are taking ribavirin. This is particularly true of patients who are taking HIV medications as well, some of which can suppress the bone marrow.
EPO (erythropoeitin) is a growth factor which can be injected just like interferon. This growth factor helps stimulate the number of red blood cells in the body to alleviate the severity of the anemia. You may want to discuss this option with your provider.
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