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1707536 tn?1334977677

alcohol and treatment

Hi all,

Someone I know from another forum asked me for a link to an article that shows alcohol actually interferes with treatment, ie that somehow it makes interferon less effective.

I am not looking for a discussion or lecture on the evils of alcohol. And he's obviously aware that drinking is NOT liver-friendly and can cause one to forget to take their meds, etc.

He's specifically looking for scientific evidence that shows that drinking alcohol in moderation will less one's chances of clearing the virus.

27 Responses
1707536 tn?1334977677
edit- meant to say:
He's specifically looking for scientific evidence that shows that drinking alcohol in moderation will LESSEN one's chances of clearing the virus.
Avatar universal
He may want evidence, but what he really wants is to drink. I am not going to google anything, butanything that continues damaging the liver will lessen your chances. That is demonstrated by the lower svr rates in cirrhotics. This is my opinion, but this is a sign of complete denial on his part. Deep down he knows...Mark
Avatar universal

Patients with Ongoing Alcohol Use
in those who completed HCV therapy, SVR was similar in drinkers and nondrinkers . Thus, alcohol users should not be excluded from antiviral therapy but treatment adherence should be stressed
3242225 tn?1348340121
Here is an article entitled: Alcohol May Affect Progression of Hepatitis C and Interferon Efficacy.  

It is posted by N.I.H. (National Institute of Health)

Nuff Said
1707536 tn?1334977677
@maybe368 - Wow. I try to be polite here but your post was ignorant and offensive beyond belief. You know NOTHING about this person and yet you state that "what he really wants is to drink" and that he's in denial. Both of those statements are patently false. Some people have an intellectual curiosity about things and are interested in the science behind. You clearly do not.

Thanks can-do and 8-nickers.
766573 tn?1365170066
Since another person said this already I will go ahead and agree it sounds like your friend wants an excuse to drink. He somehow managed to put you up to the task of doing his research to keep you off his back. As someone in recovery for 15 years I couldn't have done a better job myself :)  :)

There are articles and studies all over this forum. Most of the articles I see are actually related to how alcohol interacts with Interferon. I was slogging through the Ribavirin drug monograph the other day and read something about it.

* I doubt there is much literature or studies on the all oral meds that treat without the Ribavarin (at this point).

Impact of alcohol on hepatitis C virus replication and interferon signaling
World J Gastroenteroly. 2010 March 21; 16(11): 1337–1343.

It looks like all of us found this article!!
Alcohol increases hepatitis C virus in human cells & alcohol inhibits the anti-HCV effect of interferon-alpha (INF-alpha)therapy

3230925 tn?1397619565
I don't want to seem skeptical also,but from my personal experience it is sometimes hard to reason with an alcoholics even when their lives depends on it.That said maybe your friend is not an alcoholic,From the studies I've read alcohol consumption during treatment does affect the rates of SVR.Tell the guy google is his friend and to use it wisely.

Best wishes with your situation

Avatar universal
I guess that I was not the only one that felt this way...
163305 tn?1333672171
Alcohol is known to increase replication of the virus, therefore it seems counterproductive to use it when trying to do the opposite.
Would you water and feed a plant that you're trying to kill ?

Alcohol Ups Hepatitis C Virus Replication
From U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

July 23, 2003
Alcohol increases the replication of hepatitis C virus and interferes with the effectiveness of interferon used to treat hepatitis C, according to a recently published study

Alcohol metabolism increases the replication of hepatitis C virus and attenuates the antiviral action of interferon
                           *                     *                      *
I thought I saw alcohol among the very long list given to me of drug interactions.

I did a search and came up with this:


The following drugs may interact with Interferon Alfa-2a:
•antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS


MANAGEMENT: The risk of hepatic injury should be considered when beta interferons are used in combination with other agents that are potentially hepatotoxic (e.g., acetaminophen; alcohol; androgens and anabolic steroids; antituberculous agents; azole antifungal agents; . . .

1707536 tn?1334977677
Thanks so much. I hope you are well.  ❤
163305 tn?1333672171
SVR, can't be much better than that :)
Avatar universal
Every single time one of these questions come up, included in these answers is always, "what he really wants is to drink, you're just looking for an excuse to drink, why ask us you've made up your mind to drink anyway"......
How about answering the question people & stop with the unnecessary OT comments......
It's like pulling teeth around here to get a straight answer on most subjects.
Avatar universal
There is a reason that the question is posted in public forums and not answered in private, as everyone knows how to google. As far as I am concerned asking this question here is like asking if smoking is bad when treating for lung cancer  If one does not want honest answers, don't ask the question. I think political correctness hampers honesty...Mark
Avatar universal
  Yes, there IS another Hep C website where they post
these alcohol comments, and start "Flame Wars", you are correct, Mark.
Avatar universal
For me, the dead give away is wanting proof of something. My sister died of bleeding out from esophageal varicies after a short lifetime of drinking Her MO was to say "prove it" to any suggestion or advice given to her by people who cared about her. Life is not a courtroom and some things do not require proof and besides, nobody cared to try to prove anything to her, because that wasn't possible. I apologize to anyone offended by my bluntness, but life has beat that into me...Mark  
163305 tn?1333672171
Sigh. the OP did the new orals~ she was lucky but she doesn't know what it's like to be doing interferon based treatment.

I think it's important to remember that many people are on treatment and react with extreme emotion and not a whole lot of patience. It's tough being on these meds and if you haven't done them, you don't have a clue.

The other thing is that when you are faced with liver disease, it's easy to become very emotional about this topic.

It's true, I found my links by doing a couple of searches but no, not everyone is as good at this as others. We can't assume things just because we are good at one thing or another.

The links I believe were the proof the OP wanted to show her friend about alcohol.
Sadly being creatures of habit, some are hopelessly addicted.
163305 tn?1333672171
BTW: I notice you focused on those not answering the question without acknowledging that I did just that.
I don't care whether you acknowledge me or not. I only mention this to encourage you to look at your own reaction.

Avatar universal
May your friend live long and prosper.  I'll toast to that.
Avatar universal
I understand that maybe....I've been the subject of asking innocent questions & getting the runaround, even screamed at.......here there & everywhere......trolls everywhere.....
And then I still don't get a straight answer.

I can use the internet & look up answers as well....sometimes I'm much better off.
163305 tn?1333672171
      I know I felt like an angry rhino stomping around here some days while doing tx.
When you get screamed at it could be more about the person being on meds, than about what you asked, something important for all of us to remember here.
Avatar universal
I am not sure about the evidence, but I can tell you what my doc said before starting the treatment. Among many things like not having children during the treatment, eating fat, having ontime labs and doc office visits, abstaining from alcohol was top in his list.I told me that if I do not follow these items in the list I can choose to drop from the treatment. It is well known that alcohol helps the virus to spread and survive, why does anyone want that risk during the treatment.

I was told about HCV six years back, I chose not to do treatment until this year as my condition was not serious and there was only 50% chance of cure until we had incivek. During these six years I totally avoided alcohol.
1707536 tn?1334977677
@orphanhawk- I haven't be around lately and I'm truly delighted about your SVR- congratulations...I was so happy to read this.

I probably should stop here but not being one to leave well enough alone...
Mark worte: " If one does not want honest answers, don't ask the question". I NEVER asked a question about drinking on treatment. I think that is the worst possible thing one can do.  All I wanted was for a link to an article that stated the scientific mechanism that explains how alcohol interfered with interferon.
Instead of reading and responding to what I wrote, or better yet ignoring it you chose to post your little 'anti alcohol' diatribe which I imagined you've posted many times before.
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Bingo Katla....that's it...they stand on a soapbox & preach....that's what it feels like.......I'm a man that believes in science....I don't want to hear a bunch of BS rhetoric.

And to change the subject...... congratulations Orphaned Hawk....that is extra awesome.
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