Paroxetine for the treatment of interferon-α-induced depression in chronic hepatitis C
Article first published online: 27 MAY 2002
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 16, Issue 6, pages 1091–1099, June 2002
How to Cite
Kraus, M. R., Schäfer, A., Faller, H., Csef, H. and Scheurlen, M. (2002), Paroxetine for the treatment of interferon-α-induced depression in chronic hepatitis C. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 16: 1091–1099. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2002.01265.x
- Issue published online: 27 MAY 2002
- Article first published online: 27 MAY 2002
- Accepted for publication 18 February 2002
Background : Psychiatric side-effects may require dose reduction or premature discontinuation of interferon therapy in chronic hepatitis C. New strategies are needed in order to prevent the premature termination of interferon therapy.
Aim : To evaluate prospectively the efficacy and tolerability of antidepressant therapy (paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with interferon-α who have developed interferon-induced major depression.
Methods : A sub-group of 14 individuals from 121 consecutively treated hepatitis C patients developed substance-induced major depression without suicidal ideation during interferon-α treatment. The individuals in this sub-group received paroxetine after the occurrence of depression (20 mg daily until termination of interferon therapy). Diagnostic scores for depression (and anger–hostility) were obtained in a repeated measures design (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Symptom Checklist 90 Items Revised).
Results : Eleven of the 14 patients (78.6%) with interferon-induced major depression were able to complete interferon-α therapy as scheduled under concomitant paroxetine treatment (three dropouts: insufficient improvement of depression, occurrence of epileptic seizures, paroxetine-induced nausea/dizziness). Within 4 weeks after the start of paroxetine medication, depression scores declined significantly in all patients.
Conclusions : Our data suggest that concomitant therapy with paroxetine is an effective way to treat interferon-induced depression in patients with chronic hepatitis C.