What is the efficacy of interferon in the treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Updated: Feb 20, 2020
  • Author: Peter A Gearhart, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Local injection of interferon appears to be more effective than systemic injection. A meta-analysis of 7 randomized controlled trials comparing interferon and placebo for the treatment of genital warts reported complete response rate of 45% and 16%, respectively. Recurrence rates were 21% for interferon and 34% for patients in the placebo group. [78] Side effects included flulike symptoms, fatigue, and pain. Interferon is contraindicated in pregnancy.

The maximum response usually occurs 4-8 weeks after initiation of the first treatment course. If results at 12-16 weeks following the initial treatment course with interferon alfa-2b are not satisfactory, a second course of treatment using the same dosage schedule may be instituted, providing that clinical symptoms and signs or changes in laboratory parameters (eg, liver function tests, white blood cell [WBC] count, or platelet count) do not preclude this step.

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