Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 577–593

Interferon in the management of chronic hepatitis B

  • Robert P. Perrillo
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01316785

Cite this article as:
Perrillo, R.P. Digest Dis Sci (1993) 38: 577. doi:10.1007/BF01316785


Many drugs have been used in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, but with the exception of interferon, none have proved to be effective. Several studies have found that a sustained loss of viral replication occurs in approximately 40% of patients who arted with a 16-week course of recombinant interferon alfa-2b given in a dose of 5 million units daily or 10 million units three times weekly. Moreover, disappearance of hepatitis B surface antigen in serum has been observed in 10–15% of treated patients. Based on these results, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of this form of interferon in chronic hepatitis B in July 1992. This article reviews the importance of chronic hepatitis B as a health problem as well as the mechanisms of action, benefits, and adverse effects associated with interferon. Particular emphasis is given to the safety and efficacy data for recombinant interferon alfa-2b.

Key Words

interferonantiviralhepatitis Bhepatitis B virus

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert P. Perrillo
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Washington University School of MedicineWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Gastroenterology SectionSt. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (111 JC)Saint Louis