What is the efficacy of interferon (IFN) monotherapy for the treatment of acute hepatitis C (hep C) infection?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Dhawan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FIDSA; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Although the short courses of standard IFN monotherapy introduced in the 1980s by Hoofnagle et al, [80] Davis et al, [10] and Di Bisceglie et al [81] led to sustained improvement in liver disease and loss of virus in less than 10% of patients, these therapies were the first to cure chronic viral hepatitis.

Jaeckel et al reported that treatment with IFN alfa-2b prevented chronic infection in 98% of a group of 44 German patients with acute hepatitis C. [82] In this study, patients received 5 million U/day of IFN alfa-2b subcutaneously for 4 weeks and then three times per week for another 20 weeks; the IFN alfa-2b was well tolerated in all patients but one. [82]

Because it has the poorest safety profile of all the HCV antiviral agents, with few exceptions PEG-IFN is no longer recommended in combination regimens. Spontaneous resolution of acute HCV infection may occur in 15% to 50% of patients. [1, 16, 34, 35] Monitoring for spontaneous clearance for a minimum of 6 months before initiating any treatment is therefore recommended.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!