Jul 26, 2009
Most of what I have read about peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin treatment is negative, both in side effects and overall body response after treatment. Is there any good news on this approach?
Response from Dr. McGovern
I must say that pegylated interferon plus ribavirin lead to cure of hepatitis C in more than half of patients with genotype 1 infection and about 80% of those with genotype 2 or 3 infection. So I think these therapies are extremely important for patients with liver disease. It is true that the therapies can be associated with side effects. However, the vast majority of my patients continue therapy when they see their viral loads declining significantly. Few discontinue due to side effects per se.
New therapies will probably be available in about two years; however, the paradigm for the near term will be combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.
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