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Down to 21 from 2,190,000
Dec 1, 2007

I am being treated for hepatitis C. I am stage 3 and my initial viral load was 2,190,000. At 3 months it was 1,300 and at 6 months 27. After another three months it is down to 21. Should I continue with treatment? What else can I do if my Dr. takes me off the Interferon/ribavirin?

Thank You, Robin Maloney-Rames

Response from Dr. McGovern

Wow this is very frustrating. You had a great response at 3 months and now HCV is lingering on in the smallest of numbers.

I don't know your genotype, but if you are genotype 1, I would ask you doctor if your ribavirin is dosed for weight - that should be around 13 mg/kg. I suspect it is.

The other thing I would consider would be to continue checking your viral load until it is non-detectable. Then I would continue therapy for 9 months after that since data suggests that 36 weeks of a nondetectable viral load correlates with response (Drusano). A decision to do this though would have to thoroughly consider your side effects on medicine. Also be certain to put your pills in a pill box to know that you are not missing any doses.

There are newer drugs on the horizon which will hopefully be available in about 3 to 5 years. You would probably benefit much from an addition of one of these medications to your IFN/RBV schedule. However, we are not near to getting them yet.



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