The psychiatric side effects of interferon is often responsible for dose reduction or treatment discontinuation.
It represents a major limitation in the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C.
Dr Castera and colleagues from France prospectively assessed the occurrence of psychiatric side effects during peginterferon and ribavirin therapy for chronic Hepatitis C.
The team evaluated the impact on adherence and sustained virological response in 98 consecutive treatment-naïve chronic Hepatitis C patients.
The patients received a standard course of peginterferon plus ribavirin.
|68% of patients achieved an sustained viral response|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The investigators systematically screened the patients for psychiatric side effects.
The team used DSM-IV guidelines, at baseline and both during and after treatment.
Psychiatric side effects occurred in 39% of patients, mostly within the first 12 weeks.
The team noted that the psychiatric side effects always consisted of mood disorders.
Overall, 68% of patients achieved an sustained viral response.
The investigators noted that peginterferon and ribavirin dose reductions did not differ between patients with mood disorders and those without.
Anti-viral therapy had to be discontinued in 4 patients.
Dr Castera's team comments, “Early detection and appropriate management of psychiatric side effects during peginterferon and ribavirin therapy for chronic Hepatitis C allow optimizing adherence and virological efficacy.”