II. Mechanism

  1. Inhibits viral replication in virus infected cells

III. Indications

IV. Dosing

  1. Dose: 3 MU SQ three times per week for 6-12 months

V. Efficacy

  1. Sustained response in 10-30% of cases
  2. Improved response rates with:
    1. Low levels of Viremia
    2. Absence of Cirrhosis
    3. Absence of Hepatitis CGenotype Ib
    4. Early response to interferon
    5. Low total body iron
  3. Synergistic effect when combined with Ribavirin

VI. Adverse Effects

  1. Transient Flu-like symptoms (>50%)
    1. Fever and chills
    2. Headache
    3. Myalgia
    4. Nausea
    5. Diarrhea
  2. Initial: Decreased cell lines
    1. Decreased Granulocytes
    2. Thrombocytopenia
  3. Later
    1. Fatigue
    2. Major Depression
    3. Alopecia
    4. Rash
    5. Retinal Hemorrhages
    6. Autoimmune Thyroid disease

VII. Management of adverse effects

  1. Initial flu-like symptoms
    1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  2. Hemolytic Anemia
    1. Decrease dosage or discontinue interferon

VIII. Monitoring: Discontinue interferon criteria

  1. Liver Function Tests not normalized by 12 weeks

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