Gut and Liver 2009; 3(1): 1-13 https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl.2009.3.1.1 Optimizing the Dose and Duration of Therapy for ChronicHepatitis C
Author Information
Nipaporn Pichetshote, Erik Groessl, Helen Yee, and Samuel B. Ho
Departments of Medicine, Health Services Research and Development, VA San Diego Healthcare System, and University of California, San Diego, CA and Hepatitis C Resource Center, VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA

Samuel B. Ho
© The Korean Society of Gastroenterology, the Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research, Korean Association the Study of Intestinal Diseases, the Korean Association for the Study of the Liver, Korean Pancreatobiliary Association, and Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Cancer. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Recent studies indicate that antiviral treatment with pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin for hepatitis C can be individualized based on viral and host characteristics and the pattern of virologic response during the initial months of antiviral treatment. Patients with a low initial viral load who demonstrate a rapid virologic response to antiviral therapy may be treated with a shorter duration of therapy and are less sensitive to reduced dosing of ribavirin. Patients with delayed virologic response will require a longer duration of therapy - up to 72 weeks for patients with genotype 1 - in order to optimize chances of a sustained virologic response. Patients who were nonresponders or relapsed after an acceptable course of antiviral therapy may be retreated using a more intensive regimen and/or a longer duration of therapy. Previous nonresponders to pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin are less likely to respond to retreatment unless they demonstrate a virologic response within the first three months of retreatment, lack advanced fibrosis, and can tolerate a more intensive and/or lengthier treatment. Individualized treatment based on viral genotype, viral load, the presence of advanced fibrosis, and initial virologic response can improve therapy for some patients and save resources in others. (Gut and Liver 2009;3:1-13)
Keywords: Hepatitis C; Peginterferon alfa; Interferon; Ribavirin
Abstract
Recent studies indicate that antiviral treatment with pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin for hepatitis C can be individualized based on viral and host characteristics and the pattern of virologic response during the initial months of antiviral treatment. Patients with a low initial viral load who demonstrate a rapid virologic response to antiviral therapy may be treated with a shorter duration of therapy and are less sensitive to reduced dosing of ribavirin. Patients with delayed virologic response will require a longer duration of therapy - up to 72 weeks for patients with genotype 1 - in order to optimize chances of a sustained virologic response. Patients who were nonresponders or relapsed after an acceptable course of antiviral therapy may be retreated using a more intensive regimen and/or a longer duration of therapy. Previous nonresponders to pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin are less likely to respond to retreatment unless they demonstrate a virologic response within the first three months of retreatment, lack advanced fibrosis, and can tolerate a more intensive and/or lengthier treatment. Individualized treatment based on viral genotype, viral load, the presence of advanced fibrosis, and initial virologic response can improve therapy for some patients and save resources in others. (Gut and Liver 2009;3:1-13)
Keywords: Hepatitis C; Peginterferon alfa; Interferon; Ribavirin
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