Author(s): Zeuzem S, Welsch C, Herrmann E
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Abstract Two polyethylene glycol (PEG)-modified interferons are approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. The pharmocokinetic properties of the branched 40 kDa pegylated interferon alfa-2a differ from the linear 12 kDa pegylated interferon alfa-2b. The absorption half-life of standard interferon alfa is 2.3 hours, while absorption half-lives for peginterferon alfa-2a and alfa-2b are 50 hours and 4.6 hours, respectively. The volume of distribution for peginterferon alfa-2a is considerably restricted, while the volume of distribution for peginterferon alfa-2b is only approximately 30\% lower than that for conventional interferon. Because of its large size, the 40 kD peginterferon alfa-2a has a more than 100-fold reduction in renal clearance compared with conventional interferon alfa. Clearance of peginterferon alfa-2b is about one-tenth that of unmodified interferon alfa. Although data are limited, both drugs appear to show differences in the initial viral decay pattern in patients with chronic hepatitis C. However, it remains unknown whether these differences in the initial viral decline predict differences in the primary clinical endpoint, sustained virological response.
This article was published in Semin Liver Dis
and referenced in Advances in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety