A pilot study of ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

Interferon-alpha therapy is of proven efficacy in chronic hepatitis C, but it is not universally effective and may be associated with intolerable side effects. Ribavirin is a nucleoside analog with a broad spectrum of antiviral action. We conducted an uncontrolled pilot study of ribavirin therapy in 13 patients with chronic hepatitis C. Ribavirin was given for 6 mo, in a dose that was increased, at 2-mo intervals, from 600 mg to 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg/day. Serum ALT levels gradually decreased in all 13 treated patients; the mean percentage of decrease was 67% (from 210 U/L [range = 109 to 593] to 63 U/L [range = 22 to 108 U/L]; p = 0.0006) after 6 mo of treatment. Serum aminotransferase levels fell to the normal range in four patients (31%). In the 3 to 6 mo after cessation of ribavirin therapy, serum aminotransferase activities gradually rose to near pretreatment levels in all but one patient. Therapy was associated with a significant decrease in the geometric mean titer of hepatitis C virus RNA in serum (1:1,981 vs. 1:199; p less than 0.02) although no patients lost hepatitis C virus RNA from serum during therapy. No significant improvement was seen in liver histological appearance. Ribavirin therapy resulted in mild, reversible hemolysis; no patient exhibited symptomatic anemia. These findings suggest that ribavirin has a beneficial effect in patients with chronic hepatitis C, although further studies are needed to determine how ribavirin is best used.
AuthorsA M Di Bisceglie, M Shindo, T L Fong, M W Fried, M G Swain, N V Bergasa, C A Axiotis, J G Waggoner, Y Park, J H Hoofnagle
JournalHepatology (Baltimore, Md.) (Hepatology) Vol. 16 Issue 3 Pg. 649-54 (Sep 1992) ISSN: 0270-9139 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID1505907 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Biomarkers
  • RNA, Viral
  • Ribavirin
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alanine Transaminase (blood)
  • Biomarkers (blood)
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C (blood, drug therapy, enzymology)
  • Hepatitis, Chronic (blood, drug therapy, enzymology)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • RNA, Viral (blood)
  • Ribavirin (therapeutic use)

Join CureHunter, for free Research Interface BASIC access!

Take advantage of free CureHunter research engine access to explore the best drug and treatment options for any disease. Find out why thousands of doctors, pharma researchers and patient activists around the world use CureHunter every day.
Realize the full power of the drug-disease research network!

Choose Username:
Verify Password: