What is the difference between interferon and peginterferon?
I am loving this site, but I have not been educated long enough about this virus to understand all of the stats and options for treatments that have been posted. I'm 1a hep c about to start treatment in a few weeks. I would like to know some treatment option to discuss them intelligently with my GI when I go.
PEGylation is the process of covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) polymer chains to another molecule, normally a drug or therapeutic protein. PEGylation is routinely achieved by incubation of a reactive derivative of PEG with the target macromolecule. The covalent attachment of PEG to a drug or therapeutic protein can "mask" the agent from the host's immune system (reduced immunogenicity and antigenicity), increase the hydrodynamic size (size in solution) of the agent which prolongs its circulatory time by reducing renal clearance. PEGylation can also provide water solubility to hydrophobic drugs and proteins.
This is a long winded and convoluted way of saying that pegylated interferon will last longer in your body than interferon without pegylation. The original standard of care required taking interferon three times a week. Pegylated interferon is taken once a week and is more effective since the trough levels of the drug are much higher with peg interferon.
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