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Avatar universal

anyone svr'd with infergen?

I'm new here and I just started daily infergen/riba last friday and have been doing ok. I was a non responder to pegintron 10 years ago I think largely because of a riba dose reduction due to itching. My doctor then didn't offer any rescue meds in case of side effects. This time I have a different doctor and they will use methods to help me finish the course. I am pretty anxious about it because back then I was a 1 and I am now a 3(hence the need to retreat sooner rather than later).I know odds are against me but I'd like to hear positive stories if there are any out there. Any tips to get through this will be helpful as well. I have to beat this thing. I have two small children and want to see them graduate Med School ;-)
Sorry for the poor grammar but I'm posting from my phone. Thanks in advance for your time.
10 Responses
179856 tn?1333550962
Are you also on the riba this time?
There is a woman Deb who used to be here who treated for 72 weeks with Infergen. I don't honestly know how she made it, she has such a hard hard treatment. But she did and she is SVR today.

I posted something yesterday and will try and find it and bump it  up for you about Infergen. Maybe it has some info that will help you.
87972 tn?1322664839

I know of one person in particular that recently completed a 72 week course of Infergen/riba and was successful; she posted as Debc430, but is no longer involved with this forum. I know she wasn’t digging the treatment, particularly as she neared the end, but managed through eventually.

I understand your concerns; I was in a similar situation a few years ago, but have since cleared with extended Pegintron Tx.

Good luck; others will chime in later too, I imagine.

179856 tn?1333550962
FDA Approves Infergen Combo Therapy for Retreating HCV
Information from Industry
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an expanded indication for interferon alfacon-1 subcutaneous injection (Infergen; Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals, LLC), in combination with ribavirin, for retreatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) viral infection.

The action was based on data from the United States–based Daily-Dose Consensus Interferon and Ribavirin: Efficacy of Combined Therapy clinical trial of nonresponders to prior pegylated interferon plus ribavirin therapy who were randomly assigned to receive active treatment or placebo for up to 48 weeks.

Results showed that 9% of patients receiving 15 μg interferon alfacon-1/ribavirin achieved a sustained virologic response, defined as undetectable HCV RNA levels at 24 weeks posttherapy (vs placebo, 0%).

The retreatment strategy was especially effective for interferon-sensitive patients with lower baseline fibrosis scores. According to a company news release, up to 38% of noncirrhotic patients who were sensitive to pegylated interferon/ribavirin and who did not modify their interferon alfacon-1/ribavirin dosages achieved a sustained virologic response. Cirrhotic patients were less likely to benefit from treatment unless they displayed previous interferon sensitivity or a minimum 1 log10 drop in HCV RNA on prior therapy.

"Approximately 50 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C do not respond to their initial course of therapy," stated Bruce Bacon, MD, in the company news release. "The FDA's recognition of this expanded label allows patients failing therapy a safe and efficacious retreatment strategy. The results from this study legitimize how we properly treat these patients helping them to achieve [a sustained virologic response]." Dr. Bacon was the lead investigator for the registration trial.

Adverse events most commonly reported with 15 μg interferon alfacon-1/ribavirin included fatigue, nausea, influenza-like symptoms, headache, arthralgia, myalgia, neutropenia, leukopenia, insomnia, and depression. Dose modifications were required in 52% of patients, primarily because of neutropenia/leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and fatigue/weakness.

Interferon alfacon-1 previously was approved as monotherapy for chronic HCV in adults with compensated liver disease.
Avatar universal
Yes. I'm on 800 mg of riba a day.I'm surprised I'm not doing worse (yet.I have a feeling it will get bad eventually). Thanks for your response!
96938 tn?1189803458
My opinion is that you haven't established that pegylated interferon would not work for you.  Infergen is a drastic step, especially when the reduced riba seems to have been the limiting factor, not the interferon.  I would think that a more effective approach would have been peg-ifn with focus on maintaining full doses of both peg and riba with aggressive additive measures to combat the side effect of either, or both.

800 mg of riba?  That's not a lot unless you weigh 125 or less.
Avatar universal
I will be done with my daily infergen treatment in a month, so in 7 months we will know if I SVR. The treatment has been relatively easy for me. I noticed that when I don't drink enough water, then I get this itchy patches on my hands (riba rash?), but as soon as I go back to drinking more water, they clear and I feel absolutely fine. I have been UND since between weeks 4 and 5 on infergen. Hopefully it will stay this way. It looks like infergen is a much more powerful drug than pegasys. At least it works for me better :)
Avatar universal
Flguy maybe but 2 different doctors agreed that infergen was my best option.I was a complete non responder and I can't recall (I blocked that year out of my mind) but I think I didn't achieve the 2 log drop by week 12 with Peg. besides I've already started this protocol, there's kinda no turning back now. As for my weight I'm not 125 I'm 145 but that still would put me at 12mg/kg so even for weight based dosing I'm ok. I wish I was 125! Not sure if theinfergen riba protocol does weight based anyway. Ill ask the nurse to make sure.
Sunshines76 hopefully you will! I was told that I needed to down a gallon of water every day as it would help with the sides. I've been pretty good about it so far maybe that's why I don't feel like crap yet? I'm really glad to hear you felt infergen was easier I hope I'm as lucky!
Nygirl thanks for that post. I hope I'm in the responder group!

Bill congrats on yor success!

Thanks everyone for your responses. Truly appreciated.
179856 tn?1333550962
I weighed less than 125 but took well over 1,000 riba a day myself.  Rather than dose reducing the doctor gave me procrit to keep my hemo up and for the itching i found the extra water and hydratinig several times a day with good thick lotions wiped out the rash.  It's too bad they reduced you I agree with Bill that seems to have been the culprit not the interferon.

If you weigh 145 you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces a day, so at least 70 ounces of water.  It will help with everything. If you can't stand all the water stuff like gatorade is fine just try not to drink too many caffeinated beverages as they help to dehydrate you and God knows these meds are dehydrating as they are on their own.

Give yourself some time chances are you'll feel like crap any time soon....................enjoy it while you can ;)
Avatar universal
Should I then ask why I'm on only 800mg? Can I even ask for more?
Avatar universal
I just called the nurse and she said that bacause I'm on the upper weight limit that they'll up me to 1000 provided my labs next week are ok.thanks for all the input guys
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