There is a great deal of interest in the problems that anemia causes in the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C. This problem is even more severe in patients with combined hepatitis C, thalassemia, and other red blood cell diseases, patients with renal failure. Anemia limits the option to treat hepatitis C, since the ribavirin will predictably exacerbate a pre-existing anemia, and may actually result in a fall in hemoglobin that is unacceptable. As a result, patients with anemia have often not been offered treatment for hepatitis C.
Anemia often complicates anti-viral therapy for hepatitis C, again more often and more severely in patients who are co-infected with HIV. Anemia may result in dose reductions of ribavirin and even in withdrawal of ribavirin completely. Such modifications to anti-viral therapy may reduce the likelihood of achieving a sustained virological response. Erythropoietin may provide a means to prevent or treat some of these problems. Erythropoietin is the hormone which normally controls production of red blood cells. When the hemoglobin falls there is an outpouring of erythropoietin from the kidney, which stimulates the production of new red cells to repair the anemia. The induction of anemia during anti-viral therapy should trigger an erythropoietin response. Even if the erythropoietin response is normal, it may be that the bone marrow is unable to respond normally to the erythropoietin, because of the suppressive effect of interferon. Thus we need additional data to understand exactly how the body responds to the anemia induced by anti-viral therapy, so that we can tailor our treatment to reduce the impact of the anemia and provide adequate supportive therapy to those who need it.
Thanks for all your info and web sites, but now I'm really wondering if I SHOULD TREAT. I'm also wondering if procrit will work for me. Is any one out there who has Thalassemia and has or is treating?
I'm not sure, but can check after the first of the year to see if any have and what the outcomes were.
I noticed they approved a new drug called Revlimid for Transfusion anemia. I don't know if something like this would help non transfusion anemia. Just thought I would pass it along.
I have seen other posts and maybe in the archive section as well from people with Thalessemia (sp?).
If you doctor is for treatment don't let any excuse convince you to stop. I am brain dead and can't remember your stage and grade and stuff (I don't know how people in here can remember everything that they do!!!).
This sounds like a really important question and personally I would ask for a second doctors opinion. while in here everyone is so unbelievably wonderful....nobody in here knows ALL of your details like the doctor does, you know?
At some point I have to believe that doctors know what they are doing?
I go to mine tomorrow then will seeeeee?
Look for posts from 'Couldn't think of a nickname', 'Wassabi Pea', and 'AZgirl' - I think they each might have some info.