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285777 tn?1231613444

interferon therapy

hi there, hope everyone is fine:)
I've been diagnosed with type 4 hepc about 3 years ago and I think i found out about it like 3 weeks after i got infected, i got suspicious about something and there you go, so you can say I knew about it from the very start, not like other people who discover they're infected 20 or 30 years later. Anyway, naturally when I found out, i had Ab, but the PCR was negative and swooosh 6 months later viral load was 34000. i did another PCR about 1.5 years ago it was 628000, and 4 months ago it was 380000. From the very begining my doctor was strictly against Interferon treatment, even though my viral load was low and I was 31 at the time (Now I'm 34) he kept me on liver supports like milk thistle, Chinese DDB, anti oxidents, and actually I'm feeling normal. once in while some mild pain in my upper right side, but that's about all. so far I've never done a biopsy and the couple of times i did an ultra sound it was fine, ALT and other functions are also ok (as long as i stay on meds, if i stop the ALT jumps to 118 or so). A short while ago, another doctor also very enthusiasticly recommended Combination Treatment (Interferon and Ribavirin) but after some checking on my own, i freaked out. The side effects are terrible and I've been reading all kinds of horrible articles about permenant brain damage, permenant post treatment side effects that are even worse than hcv symptoms and I'm totally lost.....can anyone tell me a positive experience with interferon treatment. SVR without Post Treatment side effects or anything....all I can hear about and read on various articles and forums are people complaints, are they true? should I go for it or just wait for another cure?
thanks and all the best to you all...:)
7 Responses
186606 tn?1263513790
it's too bad your doc didn't treat you when you were acute.
144210 tn?1273092382
Side effects of treatment range from mild to severe depending on the person.  I agree with your first doctors opinion. You are lucky to find out you have hep c so soon after contact. With the new promising treatments coming around the corner, I would wait. A biopsy probably is not warrented if your ALT scores are normal. Others are sure to weigh in soon. Don't panic, you are in good shape.
276730 tn?1327966546
I would go for a liver biopsy to determine what stage of liver disease you have IF ANY. I would take it from there. Seek a reputable hepatologist. One step at a time.

When I was Acute years ago I couldnt go on treatment.....why? beacuse they didnt kow what hepatitits C was at that time. I was  suffering from ACUTE SOMETHING?

Consider yourself somewhat lucky that now we know what it is and how to treat it if necessary.
Keep your chin up. Just make sure your in the good hands of a hepatologist..
148588 tn?1465782409
Get a biopsy and then decide on when to treat. If you can afford to wait 4-5 years, you may have a chance of treating for a shorter time with a greater chance of sustained response. Even though you've been infected a relatively short period of time, the fact that your ALT goes up when you stop the supplements makes me believe some kind of damage is going on. I would want a biopsy.
Avatar universal
I am a 5'00 ft. 46 yr. old woman weighs 106 lb. (whatever it is in kilos), and was contaminated with Hep c, 16 Yrs. ago, after a post-partum complication, anyway, because the patogen is 2 B, I was treated with a combo of Riba and interferon, Not a pic-nic, let me tell you that much, coming from someone that has a lot of endurance with pain, or so I've been told, went thru it, for some time, I thought that I was going to die, especially when i became so anemic, and that is when problems arrived, but guess what, I survived, it is bad, no **** about it, need a lot of patience and people around you to hug you a lot, but in my case it was SOOOOO WORTH IT, I became UND. at the 9 week of TX. and after 1 Yr. Thanks to God still going clean, I recuperated from the symptoms, took some time, but I was ok. again, back to my life, I think it is up to every person, it is challenge, for some of us it worked, for some it didn't, how to know? oh! it is a very expensive treatment, and for sure, need to stay home, depending on your health.  This is my input into this.
Good luck
Avatar universal
The better treatments will still have IFN and Riba with the same or worse side effects.

I would do the following:

1. Start treatment with IFN and weight based riba.

2. Check PCR at 4 weeks. If UND, there is a good chance of getting rid of this beast right now.

3. If NOT UND at 4 wks, here is where the gray area starts.
One may want to stop, if the viral load dropped less than 1 log, or
may continue for another 4wks and see if you have >2 log drop at week 8.

4. The goal is to become UND at week 12 or earlier. If not, I would stop and wait for new treatments. There is a chance that you may be rapid responder (RVR), have SVR with current tx and get on with your life. I am not a doctor, but this is what I would do. Good luck to you. And get a good hepatologist, treating with milk thistle or supplements is just covering the symptoms.

"A short while ago, another doctor also very enthusiasticly recommended Combination Treatment (Interferon and Ribavirin) but after some checking on my own, i freaked out. The side effects are terrible.."
The side effects vary greatly and depend on a person, some have it quite easy. You won't know unless you try. In any case, they would be the same or worse with the new treatment and your liver may be in a worse state too.

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