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Revista Cubana de Farmacia

Print version ISSN 0034-7515On-line version ISSN 1561-2988


SANCHEZ RODRIGUEZ, Yoan Antonio; ARUS SOLER, Enrique; LOPEZ SAURA, Pedro  and  NODARSE CUNI, Hugo. Safety of recombinant interferon alpha 2b plus ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C. Rev Cubana Farm [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.1, pp.34-43. ISSN 0034-7515.

INTRODUCTION: chronic hepatitis C has reached the category of pandemic. The hepatitis C virus is the main cause of chronic hepatitis, hepatic cirrhosis, hepatocarcinoma and liver transplantation worldwide. OBJECTIVE: to identify the side effects of a combined therapy of recombinant interpheron alpha 2b plus ribavirin during the treatment and up to 8 weeks afterwards, as well as the main effects related to temporary or definitive withdrawal. METHODS: a pharmacological surveillance study was performed in which 122 patients with chronic hepatitis C, who had been seen at the Institute of Gastroenterology from May 2001 to May 2006, were included. Recombinant interferon alpha 2b (3 million units administered 3 times a week) plus ribavirin (1 000 or 1 200 mg daily depending on the body weight) was the therapy used for 48 weeks. RESULTS: of the total number of cases, 88.5 % had side effects; 79.5 % of which corresponded to pseudocold syndrome followed by hematological, neuropsychiatric and gastrointestinal manifestations, and other less frequent ailments. In the studied group, 6.6% had to interrupt their treatment temporarily due to some side effect different from anemia whereas 4 patients gave up the study, three affected by severe hemolytic anemia and one with uncontrollable hyperthyroidism. CONCLUSIONS: the combined therapy of recombinant interferon alpha 2b plus ribavirin proved to be safe; the most frequent side effect was pseudocold syndrome in the majority of cases. The hematological manifestations that made the patients to give up the study led to recommend a strict follow-up of hemoglobin levels and thorough diagnosis and treatment of the main side effects found in other systems and associated to this combined therapy.

Keywords : Chronic hepatitis C; interferon alpha 2b; ribavirin; pseudocold syndrome; anemia.

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