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Avatar universal

52 vs. 48 weeks of tx -- would it matter?

i'm finishing my 48 week treatment today, and due to a prescription-filling snafu, i ended up with an extra 4 weeks of meds that are non-returnable.   does anyone think it would make an appreciable difference in my SVR chances to continue treatment for another 4 weeks?   i am geno 1 and don't know my exact baseline viral load at the beginning of tx (docs used old 2003 figure of about 60,000 as a guide)......the virus became unmeasurable on the "old-school" PCR test at week 4 (the one that only measures down to 650).  at week 12 it was undetectable on a more sensitive PCR test that measures down to 25 IU, and it hasn't "broken through."   ALT has remained consistently above normal for most of tx, though rarely above 100.   if you were in my shoes, would you carry on for another 4 weeks?   i know there's some research showing that tx extension out to 60-72 weeks increases SVR percentages for geno 1s, but this would be a "mini-extension" that probably hasn't been studied too much. truth be told, i'm having a lot of issues with extremely dry, cracking skin and am generally ready to stop now, but am having mixed feelings.   in one sense i feel that an extra 4 weeks would make little difference; if i'm destined to relapse it's probably gong to happen regardless of the small extension, and if on the other hand i'm set up for permanent clearance, it's probably already baked in the cake by the end of 48.

what would you do?   extending beyond 52 is not an option due to expenses, so i either stop at 48 or 52.  opinions, please.....thanks,

stan
28 Responses
Avatar universal
Funny, I'm trying to convince my HMO to extend my treatment at least another 4 weeks to the 52-week mark so I can be assured of having at least 9 months of "undetected"  per the Buti recommendation.    So it's obvious what I do if I were in your shoes:  bite the bullet and go for it.   This 48-week business only works for half of us, and any extra time we do helps increases the odds somewhat.   As to how much, who the heck knows, but even a 5% advantage would be worth the additional itching and scratching.   Congratulations on being so close!
Avatar universal
I had the same situation when I was on treatment. I asked my doctor if I can get the extra 4 weeks medications into my system. He told me that 48 weeks are long and enough time. I listend to him. I stopped at 48 weeks point. I am an SVR now.
I am so glad that I did not poisen myself with these extra four weeks medications.
Avatar universal
Tough one, Stan..!?!
Four extra weeks may not seem like much but after already completeing 48, it would feel like a lifetime to me. What does your gut tell you to do?    I honestly don't know what I would do in your situation - sorry I can't help. If you decide not to use the meds, I'm sure Miles will find a good home for them...  Whatever your decision, Best of luck to you and may continued SVR be yours..
Avatar universal

In addition to the benefits of extending Tx there are always the dark sides as well. It's a delicate situation. Auto immune diseases have a tendancy to crop up during Tx so be aware. BTW, how is your thyroid doing?....It's an important consideration if you decide to extend. In short, I would say that if your blood chemistry values came back normal during Tx you would be a good candidate for prolonging this awful Tx.

Good luck all,
Ben
Avatar universal
i would go for it. get some more skin crack repair and urea/lactic acid lotion and finish them up if you have no life threatening problems. we do get svrs on 48 wks but we also get relapsers. better to know you went the extra mile than regret you didn't.
Avatar universal
I agree with cuteus...go for the additional four weeks if your counts and thyroid are holding out okay to this point. The dry cracking skin is exasperating, but it won't kill you and there are lots of remedies for it. Before I finished the planned 48, my doctor urged me to go for 72 (I'm a genotype 4 and didn't clear at 12 weeks...I cleared at about week 19) I'm now on week 67 of 72, and despite my apprehension about doing it for so long, now that it's almost over, I'm really glad I did it. Whatever happens i know that I did everything possible to fight the fight.  I'm just sharing my own experience, and you may have good reasons for stopping at 48, and only you and your doctor know what's best for you.If you do decide to stop, please don't allow those 4 weeks of injections go to waste. There are an awful lot of people who can't afford to stay on tx and would benefit tremendously from what you can't use.

Whatever you decide, just know that it will be the best decision you made based on all the factors you will be considering. Good luck with everything and I wish you and all of us SVR forever.
Judi :-)
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