HCV Interferon-free therapies will open up
treatment to almost everyone with hepatitis C since the side effect
profile is so much lower. Although many studies have shown that
people with psychiatric illness can be successfully treated with
pegylated interferon and ribavirin there has been a reluctance to treat
this population because of the fear generated by misinformation instead
of scientific data. People with psychiatric illnesses will greatly
benefit from the new interferon-free therapies as well as many other
groups that had treatment withheld for the right reasons and some
unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. –Alan Franciscus
Interferon-Free HCV Tx Benefits Mentally Ill
Published: Nov 5, 2013
By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today
Reviewed by F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE; Instructor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON — Hepatitis C (HCV)
patients with mental comorbidities, such as depression or bipolar
disorder, can be successfully treated with an interferon-free drug
regimen, a phase II trial showed.
The combination of ribavirin and
the investigational agent sofosbuvir was equally effective in patients
with and without significant mental health disorders, according to Amy
Nelson, RN, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases in Bethesda, Md.
Importantly, both groups of patients were equally likely to adhere to the medication and to appear for study visits, she told MedPage Today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
The finding is important because
it opens the door to effective therapy for people with mental
illnesses, for whom standard therapy has been contraindicated, Nelson
Primary source: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Source reference: Nelson A, et al “Impact of
pre-existing mental health disorders on adherence and sustained
virologic response with an interferon-free trial of sofosbuvir and
ribavirin for chronic Hepatitis C” AASLD 2013; Abstract 319.