|NEWER TYPE OF INTERFERON FOR HEPATITIS C|
Until recently, interferon was the only treatment for hepatitis C - an infection leading to cirrhosis with a mortality of about 10,000 people every year. Interferon is effective in reducing Hepatitis C viral load substantially within 24 hours after the first dose, but requires frequent dosing (three injections a week over six months to a year). Also, it is effective in only about 20 to 30 percent of patients, and carries some serious side effects, including chronic fatigue and depression.
A modified form of interferon named pegylated interferon (after polyethylene glycol, a molecule that is attached to standard interferon) is considered more effective than its predecessor as it has fewer complications with a longer half-life.
It is postulated that one dose of pegylated interferon stays around in the blood and keeps the virus under control the whole week-long and thus is effective in lowering the viral load to a greater extent and for a longer duration.
Thus this newer molecule seems promising in the treatment of chronic hepatitis due to Hepatitis C virus.
Last updated on 13-02-2003
Pediatric Oncall Journal
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