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Reached SVR But Treatment Is Taking Toll
May 29, 2005

I am HCV Genotype 2a and began treatment 9 weeks ago. Blood tests at 4,6 and 8 weeks showed 0 viral load, but now I have severe reflux problems and am totally fatigued,with creeping signs of depression. I don't want to stop treatment, but if I find I can't go much longer, what is the approximate percentage risk of a return of the virus. I am infected 35 years ago and was activity grade 7/18 (stage 2/6), 2.5 mil viral load, with no symptoms, prior to start of treatment. If I can't continue with the ribavirin due to the GI problems, would it make any sense to continue with the interferon alone? Tom in Delaware

Response from Dr. McGovern

What I would advise is the following:

I would NOT stop ribavirin. I would discuss the severity of your symptoms with your physician and some recent data suggesting that perhaps even as little as 4 months of therapy may be adequate for genotype 2. I think you are a great candidate for stopping at this type point because you had such a rapid viral load response and because you have the easiest genotype to treat - type 2.

Dr. McGovern

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