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Infection

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 25–29 | Cite as

Interferon alpha-2a Plus Ribavirin 1,000/1,200 mg versus Interferon alpha-2a Plus Ribavirin 600 mg for Chronic Hepatitis C Infection in Patients on Opiate Maintenance Treatment: An Open-Label Randomized Multicenter Trial

  • M. HuberEmail author
  • R. Weber
  • R. Oppliger
  • P. Vernazza
  • P. Schmid
  • P. Schönbucher
  • B. Bertisch
  • D. Meili
  • E. L. Renner
Clinical and Epidemiological Studies

Abstract

Background:

Many intravenous opiate users are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) but few are treated. Although this complies with various guidelines, virtually no published evidence supports such a recommendation.

Patients and Methods:

In a multicenter study, HCV-infected patients in opiate maintenance treatment programs received interferon plus high- or low-dose ribavirin (1,000/1,200 mg or 600 mg). HIV-coinfected patients were not included. Endpoints were feasibility, efficacy, side effects, and reasons for dropout.

Results:

Of the 420 patients who tested positive for HCV, 27 (6%) were enrolled; 393 (94%) either failed to meet the inclusion criteria or refused treatment. Virologic end-of-treatment response was achieved in 12/27 patients, and sustained response in 13/27 (48%). Response depended on viral genotype, not ribavirin dose. The two doses of ribavirin did not differ in their side effects.

Conclusion:

In a small fraction of HCV-infected intravenous drug users in an opiate maintenance treatment program, antiviral therapy was feasible, safe, and effective. The success rate was comparable to that achieved in controlled studies that excluded drug users.

Keywords

Interferon Chronic Hepatitis Drug User Antiviral Therapy Sustained Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel Medien und Medizin Verlagsgesellschaft 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Huber
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Weber
    • 2
  • R. Oppliger
    • 3
  • P. Vernazza
    • 4
  • P. Schmid
    • 4
  • P. Schönbucher
    • 5
  • B. Bertisch
    • 6
  • D. Meili
    • 6
  • E. L. Renner
    • 7
  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital EpidemiologyUniversity HospitalZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital EpidemiologyUniversity HospitalZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Drop-In ZürichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.St. Gallen Cantonal Hospital, Division of Infectious DiseasesSt. GallenSwitzerland
  5. 5.LucerneSwitzerland
  6. 6.ARUD-Zürich (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für risikoarmen Umgang mit Drogen [Working Group for Low-Risk Drug Use])ZurichSwitzerland
  7. 7.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity HospitalZurichSwitzerland

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