|Should you stop Interferon early?
Jun 13, 2007
I am 50 and have genotype 3a. I have been taking Interferon for 1 1/2 months. My last blood work showed that I am virus free. I wanted to know if I can stop treatment early and still be Hep c free for good or do I need to finish out the 6months of treatment. My virus load has always been low in the 120,000. I do not like to take medications or treatments that are not needed. Do you think I can stop or do I need to finish out the rest. I have been reading a little about relapsing, and I don't want that to happen.
| Response from Dr. McGovern
This decision of stopping early (eg 16 weeks) must be weighed carefully. and should be discussed with your physician. It will depend on: 1. How advanced your liver disease is 2. When exactly you became virus-free (eg after 4 weeks of treatment?)
Your low viral load and rapid response would suggest that you may do fine with only 16 weeks of treatment. A recent study (ACCELERATE trial) suggests that many patients with a rapid viral load response at 4 weeks will do well with 16 weeks although there is a little better response with 24 weeks. So you can see that a lot of decision making will also depend on whether you are sailing through therapy or are being tortured by it...
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