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Side effects after use of interferon for treatment of hep c

I went thru the interferon treatment without any knowledge of the side effects, Doc. was not up to date on hep c , i had to tell him everything. Anyway my questiion does  still have  side effects  after treatment?  I'm still very depressed and anxious (it's been over 5 years since treatment)I also have panic attacts.  Bottom line is I still feel like ****,  all my tests come back no show, which is great,  but sometimes i wish i would of did the research on interferon.  The Doc. told me nothing, didn't do geno type first not even a pcr test, when I mentioned it  he said oh yeah, we will do it now, 1/3  of the way thru treatment, tried to do geno type , but by then the insurance would'nt cover it.
I want to know if this is just me going crazy or others experiance the same.
Please help
5 Responses
Avatar universal
First of all, you are not crazy.  I am sorry you had to go through treatment in the dark like that. That is awful. I really can't address the lingering side effects of interferon, because I am still on treatment.  However, many have stated that they do have side effects long after treatment and if you check thru the archives you will see the topic addressed.    It sounds like you need to get some tests run to try to determine what the problem is.

I find it hard to believe the doctor treated without a PCR.  Did he treat you on a test for postive antibodies, or did he run a test to prove you did have active virus, just not the quantity?  A lot of us don't think our GI's seem to care much, but yours takes the cake.  

best of luck in trying to get a diagnosis for your ongoing issues.
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear you are having problems.  You probably need to get some tests run and see your dr about your panic attacks.  Did you have any of this before your tx?  There is no sense in living your life feeling rotten.  Please get some help.
Avatar universal
I'm just so very thankful that I have the option to treat. (15!!!/24!!! Kaiser, no 12wk PCR).  If I had to have the bad luck to get HCV, at least my one hit was with a pair of 2b's.  

Oh, it's so hard, and some get flattened and some not so much. I'm not too bad.  I love success stories as they buttress my optimism, confirm that the TX is usually doable,and well worth it.  But, those who get crushed by the TX and/or the virus, I send you just a bit of my good luck so far.  I heartily believe that there are multiple un-typed sub-quasi-species-genotypes yet to be discovered, and could explain responses among and within sub-types.  With all the new stuff coming down the Pike, the Dragon is an endangered species!  Plus some doctors seem to withhold Procrit!?!  The stuff is magical, though painful all around.  Thank you to my docs/nurses/Kaiser.

48 y/o f, infected probably 1980-ish, diagnosed in '93.   Saw Dr. Theresa Wright at UCSF, got in some study, she did my biopsy, (or, kicked me in the liver).  I was like an 0/1, but with "activity".   I'm not sure of PCR in '93, but all LFT numbers rock solid normal except for once about a year later, I woke up feeling like my liver was being fried with onions, all stiff, painful, exhausted, no eating nor keeping your lunch.  ALT elevated, then two months later, all was quiet.  No immediate need to treat, esp. @ that time they wouldn't treat with normal ALT.  So I waited.  

From '93 to now, I was good to myself, and thank the great oversoul that I was not a big drinker from 80-93, during which time I turned 21.  My numbers have been exactly perfect all these years.

About 3 years ago, I got a referral to GI (Kaiser) who blew me off for treatment, which I didn't push.  A year later, I got URQ pain so I went to GI again.  (It was a liver muscle pull from a gut machine at the gym!!)  Nonetheless, I pursued tx again, and was told I'd been rejected before due to tx w/AD and depression.  I told her I'd make that decision for myself, and that I expected to be referred to the HC Clinic.  She told me I was a good candidate, actually (blase', no?), 2b, female but long infection and old histology.  I was referred to the clinic, and went to a class.  Wow, they're great!  It was clear I was a great candidate, and the NC, Karen, assured me I would kick butt.  

I took nearly two years to get a biopsy, and get set for the TX.  Now a 1/1.  I finally started TX August 24.  (Kaiser doesn't do 12 wk PCR on geno's 2/3)  The first 2-3 weeks, just as my HGB is probably eating it, I was so wired I could not sleep, and you could not take me anywhere, and I'm everywhere!  Then anemia,and  the sx of Procrit.  My HGB dropped to from 12.4 to 9.6 in about 9 days by the time I got Procrit in week 3.  A wet rag swimming through Jello.  Now it's 14+, higher than my whole life, so on Weds they dropped me from 2x/w Procrit to 1x/w.  Again thank Providence for Procrit.  The Procrit however seems to have sent my entire GI tract into fits, and I really only rent food/drink. I have no appetite, of course so I am slowly trimming, but not as fast as I'd hoped, maybe 13 pounds.  I want to lose another 10, and now I must make myself move around more, as I'm not absorbing alot of food right now, but still so slow!  I'm glad I never got an ice cream habit, though it is less horrible on the rebound than other stuff. I really don't want to regain, esp now that less Procrit  and fewer weeks and I look good now!  

Caveat as to Procrit as Nausea inducer:  I've not had any since last Weds and same upheaval etc.

Stay well, all


I'm absolutely certain that I will acheive SVR, but still am willing (and would demand) to extend if my vl is low/detectable @24 wks.

BTW, w

Avatar universal

Deb, heres wishing you the best of luck, with low damage and being a 2b your odds are very much in your favor. For xmas i will ask santa to bring you svr for life. Sounds like you have a good plan put together. Best of luck to ya.

Oh btw my wife's name is also deb, so if you ever just feel like yelling and someone go right ahead. Im used to it. LOL

Stay well.........John
Avatar universal

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa., Dec 05, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals, LLC today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted final approval for its Ribasphere(R) (ribavirin, USP) Tablets 600 mg, 400 mg, and 200 mg in combination with interferon alfa-2a for the treatment of Hepatitis C ("HCV"). Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals and PAR Pharmaceuticals will be shipping product immediately.

"Ribasphere(R) Tablets 600 mg, 400 mg, and 200 mg provide the patient and physician an opportunity to significantly reduce the number of tablets a patient has to take each day. "Three Rivers believes that this has the potential to lead to better patient compliance and improved patient outcomes," said Three Rivers President and CEO Donald J. Kerrish, R.Ph. These new dosage strengths represent the first significant advance in the treatment of HCV since the launch of Pegasys(R).
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