Conflict of interest: none.
Combination therapy of natural human interferon-beta and ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C patients with injection drug use
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Japan Society of Hepatology
Volume 43, Issue 10, pages 1013–1019, October 2013
How to Cite
Morikawa, H., Kozuka, R., Fujii, H., Iwai, S., Enomoto, M., Tamori, A., Saito, S. and Kawada, N. (2013), Combination therapy of natural human interferon-beta and ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C patients with injection drug use. Hepatology Research, 43: 1013–1019. doi: 10.1111/hepr.12066
- Issue published online: 3 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 27 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 27 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 27 OCT 2012
- Cannon Foundation (2011–2012)
- chronic hepatitis C;
- injection drug user;
- natural interferon-β;
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination therapy using natural human interferon-β and ribavirin (IFN-β/RBV) for chronic hepatitis C patients who were injection drug users (IDU) and resident in the Airin district of Osaka, containing the biggest slums in Japan.
Twenty-nine IDU with chronic hepatitis C received combination therapy of IFN-β/RBV. The psychiatrist in charge evaluated the scores of the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS), a self-rating scale based on 20 questions. Univariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine the factors that significantly contributed to complete treatment and a sustained virological response (SVR).
Thirteen of the 29 patients achieved SVR according to the intention to treat analysis. All patients with a rapid virological response achieved SVR. No patient required a reduced dose of RBV because of a decrease in their hemoglobin level, or of IFN-β because of a low level of white blood cells and platelet count. Two patients had psychological side-effects and stopped the therapy early in the treatment; one patient had depression and the other had anxious depression. Univariate logistic regression analyses indicated that the stage of fibrosis was the only factor that contributed to SVR, and that the SDS test and past drug abuse contributed to completion of the treatment.
IFN-β/RBV combination therapy is useful for treating IDU.