Follow-up question: PEG IFN and Rebotron vs. Ribavirin

Question

I am wondering about the differences between HepC treatments of Peg IFN and Rebotrol vs. Peg IFN and Ribavirin. My doctor is suggesting the former.

Background Info: I am type 1 HepC with 2-3 HAI score and some mild necrosis and fibrosis. I believe I have had had Hep C for many years but don't know for sure. I am immune to types A and B and have never been treated for the HepC. I have been positive for nearly 5 years and on Viracept and Combivir for nearly 4.

Thanks

Answer

Let's clarify:Rebetron is the brand name of a combo treatment that is composed of Intron(Interferon alfa 2-b) and Ribavirin tablets(Brand name Rebetol).You can buy both together,but you cannot buy Rebetol only.You can obtain compound Ribavirin from special pharmacies with a request from your doctor. A different drug was aproved last February called Peg-Intron. This is the Pegylated form of Intron,but is not available in a combo with Ribavirin. Pegasys and Ribavirin from Roche Labs. is pending aproval from FDA. This is the pegylated form of Roferon(interferon alfa 2-a), and will also be available alone and in a combo. You have mild disease and a good prognostic genotype and should respond well to any treatment. Your best chances will be with the peg. There is evidence that Pegasys has substantially less side effects than Rebetron, and that Peg-Intron is worse than Rebetron. You may wish to wait a while till both combos are on the market to select the most convenient treatment for your case.