About 170 million patients worldwide have chronic Hepatitis C.
Pegylated interferon plus ribavirin is currently the recommended therapy.
Dr Simin and colleagues from Denmark evaluated the beneficial and harmful effects of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin vs interferon plus ribavirin for chronic Hepatitis C infection.
|Adverse events included neutropenia, and arthralgia|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team searched databases included the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, and Science Citation Index Expanded to 2005.
The investigative team also contacted pharmaceutical companies and authors of trials.
The investigators identified 18 randomized clinical trials with 4811 patients.
The team found that 11 trials had allocation bias risks, and all had assessment bias risk because of lack of blinding.
Compared with interferon plus ribavirin, pegylated interferon plus ribavirin had significant beneficial effects on sustained virological response.
The team reported that data were insufficient to determine impact on long-term outcomes.
The investigators found that pegylated interferon plus ribavirin significantly increased dose reductions.
In addition, pegylated interferon plus ribavirin increased adverse events.
The team noted that the adverse events included neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, arthralgia, and injection-site reaction.
Dr Simin's team commented, “Pegylated interferon plus ribavirin compared with interferon plus ribavirin increased the proportion of patients with sustained virological response, but at the cost of more adverse events.”