Author(s): Dieperink E, Ho SB, Thuras P, Willenbring ML
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to systematically describe the neuropsychiatric side effects of treatment with interferon-alpha-2b (INF-alpha) and ribavirin in patients with chronic hepatitis C as well as to compare different instruments used to measure these side effects. Fifty-five patients with chronic hepatitis C were prospectively followed for 24 weeks and assessed with seven neuropsychiatric symptom measures and one quality of life scale. Of 42 patients treated with INF-alpha and ribavirin, 11 (26\%) were receiving psychiatric treatment at baseline. They scored higher on all rating scales at baseline and became more symptomatic during treatment. Of the 31 patients (74\%) not in psychiatric care at baseline, 15 (48\%) required treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms, and seven (23\%) met criteria for major depression during INF-alpha therapy. The control group of 13 untreated subjects showed little change over the 24-week period. All symptom scales were highly intercorrelated, suggesting that use of one is sufficient for monitoring symptoms.
This article was published in Psychosomatics
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy