SIDE EFFECTS OF COMBINATION OF INTERFERON PLUS RIBAVIRIN THERAPY IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEPATITIS C; AN EXPERIENCE WITH 400 PATIENTS

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Khalid Mahmood
Noor Muhammad

Abstract

Objective: To assess the side effects of combination therapy of interferon plus ribavirin in chronic

hepatitis C patients.

Material and Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted in Medical unit DHQ

hospital Daggar and a private clinic of consultant physician in Peshawar from January 2001 to June 2004.

A total of 400 patients of chronic hepatitis C with positive Anti HCV (hepatitis C virus) antibodies and

HCV RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were enrolled in the study. These patients received

combination therapy of interferon plus ribavirin for six months. During each visit these patients were

assessed for various unwanted effects related to the treatment. These side effects were graded as mild,

moderate and severe.

Results: The most common side effects observed in our patients were haematological in 92.5% (n=370), flu

like symptoms in 91% (n=364)., gastro intestinal in 88.5% (n=354), dermatological in 81.5% (n=326),

neuropsychiatric in 71.25%(n=285), respiratory symptoms in 14% (n=57), thyroid function abnormalities

in 4% (n=16), major depression in 1% (n=4) and suicide attempt in 0.5% (n=2). Most of the side effects

were mild to moderate. The severe adverse effects that led to reduction in dose or withdrawal of treatment

were noted in 50 (12.5%) patients.

Conclusion: Treatment of hepatitis C with combination therapy is not without harmful effects. Most of the

side effects are attributed to interferon and some to ribavirin.

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How to Cite
1.
Mahmood K, Muhammad N. SIDE EFFECTS OF COMBINATION OF INTERFERON PLUS RIBAVIRIN THERAPY IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEPATITIS C; AN EXPERIENCE WITH 400 PATIENTS. J Postgrad Med Inst [Internet]. 2011 Aug. 12 [cited 2022 Aug. 9];21(3). Available from: https://jpmi.org.pk/index.php/jpmi/article/view/192
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