Journal Article

Twelve-Week Treatment of Acute Hepatitis C Virus with Pegylated Interferon-α-2b in Injection Drug Users

Francesco G. De Rosa, Olivia Bargiacchi, Sabrina Audagnotto, Silvia Garazzino, Giuseppe Cariti, Guido Calleri, Olga Lesioba, Stefania Belloro, Riccardo Raiteri and Giovanni Di Perri

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 45, issue 5, pages 583-588
Published in print September 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/520660
Twelve-Week Treatment of Acute Hepatitis C Virus with Pegylated Interferon-α-2b in Injection Drug Users

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Injection drug use is the leading risk factor for infection with hepatitis C virus, and interferon (IFN) treatment in this context is associated with a poor rate of adherence. In this article, we review our experience with injection drug users with acute hepatitis C who are treated with pegylated IFN-α-2b for 12 weeks. Acute hepatitis C was diagnosed according to standardized criteria, and patients were treated with a median dosage of IFN-α-2b of 1.33 µg/kg per week. A sustained virological response was achieved in 17 (74%) of 23 patients. A sustained virological response was achieved in 14 (87%) of 16 patients treated with a dosage of ⩾1.33 µg/kg per week and in 3 (43%) of 7 patients treated with a lower dosage. Sustained virological response was significantly associated only with a pegylated IFN-α-2b dosage ⩾1.33 µg/kg per week (P = .022). A 12-week regimen of pegylated IFN to treat injection drug users with hepatitis C has a compliance that is much higher than that reported with a 24-week regimen. Adverse effects are minimal if patients are carefully selected.

Journal Article.  3646 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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