In this study, physicians from Greece assessed the efficacy of daily interferon-alpha (IFN) combined with ribavirin in naïve patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC).
The team included 301 patients, who were randomized to receive one of 2 treatments.
|Treatment discontinuation due to adverse events was similar between the 2 groups.|
|Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
Of the 301 patients, 154 received ribavirin (1.2g daily for 48 weeks) with IFN (5 MU 3 times weekly for 8 weeks) followed by IFN (3 MU 3 times weekly for 40 weeks).
The remaining 147 patients received ribavirin and IFN (5 MU daily for 8 weeks) followed by IFN (3 MU daily for 16 weeks) followed by IFN (3 MU 3 times weekly for 24 weeks).
The physicians found that treatment discontinuation due to adverse events was similar between the 2 groups.
However, the proportion of patients who achieved sustained virological response (SVR) was greater in the patients treated daily (39%), than in those treated 3 times weekly (28%).
Patients in the daily treatment arm had a 1.7 times greater probability of achieving SVR, than those in the 3 times weekly arm.
The doctors also found that low baseline viral load and genotype non-1 were associated with higher SVR rates.
Dr Tassopoulos's team concluded, "Combination of IFN/ribavirin for 48 weeks is more effective when IFN is administered daily for the first 24 weeks in naïve patients with CHC".