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Internist
Internist, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4762
Experience:  Int. Med., Gastroenterology. Fellow American College of Physicians. Trained, located in the U.S.
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My daugther has Hep C and been advised to take interferon.

Customer Question

My daugther has Hep C and been advised to take interferon. What is your thought on this? Any articles I have read do not say anthing positive about it and the treatment is worse that the disease
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  khagihara replied 2 years ago.
It is standard treatment for hepatitis C.

There is substantial evidence that treatment with interferon-based regimens initiated early in the course of acute infection decreases the risk of progression to chronic infection and is more efficient than treatment for chronic disease

Interferon or pegylated interferon monotherapy:
For many years, the standard therapy for chronic HCV was interferon-α, which has a short half-life (3-5 hours) and is associated with only modest response rates
The addition of of polyethylene glycol to interferon ('pegylation') reduces renal clearance. Pegylated interferon has an increased half-life, which allows once-weekly dosing and has significantly improved antiviral effects, especially in patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. Pegylated forms of interferon-α2a and interferon-α2b are available

Monotherapy with either interferon or pegylated interferon is appropriate in patients with acute hepatitis C. Acute HCV infection should be treated for 12 to 24 weeks (24 weeks is probably preferable in patients with genotype 1 infection)

A combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin is recommended in most patients with chronic hepatitis C

Any questions?
Expert:  Internist replied 2 years ago.
I feel this answer is incomplete. Let me know if you want me to address it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I pretty much new this, I am wondering if the side effects from the treatment are worse than the disease, from what I have read Hep C can be left untreated with little damage being done to the liver
Expert:  Internist replied 2 years ago.
Treatment will depend upon how advanced your daughters liver disease from the chronic hepatitis is. If it is in a more advanced stage it is advisable that she should be treated. This can be determined by liver biopsy. Although the side effects of interferon in some patients are very significant others can do well on this medication. More importantly is the fact that in May of 2011, 2 new drugs were approved for treatment of hepatitis C. which have greatly improved the response rate. Also there are presently new treatments in trial at this time that do not include interferon. These treatments will probably become approved by the FDA in approximately 2 years. If your daughter is at an early stage or shows no advanced fibrosis her doctor may elect to wait for the interferon free therapy to become available. You should see a hepatologist who has experience with treating hepatitis C and keeps abreast of this rapidly changing therapy.
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Internist, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4762
Experience: Int. Med., Gastroenterology. Fellow American College of Physicians. Trained, located in the U.S.
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