Author(s): Sandokji AM, Sanai FM, AlAjlan AA, AlKarawi MA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C affects 2\% of Saudi population. Previous local trials showed low response to interferon monotherapy for six-months. AIM: To evaluate biochemical and virological response of interferon-ribavirin combination on naive Saudi patients infected with HCV. METHODS: A prospective single armed study was conducted at Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital from July 1999 to July 2002 for fifty patients who have hepatitis C virus (HCV-PCR) positive and chronic hepatitis on liver biopsy were started on the combination therapy for one-year. All had HCV-PCR at the end of therapy and at six months follow-up. RESULTS: Thirty-one patients (62\%) normalized their ALT levels, and 25 patients (50\%) became HCV-PCR negative achieving end-of-treatment response (ETR). The sustained virological response (SR) was achieved in 19 patients (38\%) at six months follow-up after stopping the treatment. Side effects were mainly flu like syndrome in 36 patients (72\%). CONCLUSION: Combination therapy of interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin is an effective treatment modality for HCV infected Saudi patients, with tolerable side effects. Our virological response rates are compatible with international published literatures.
This article was published in Saudi J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology