First-line monotherapies of tenofovir and entecavir have comparable efficacies in hepatitis B treatment

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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a health problem worldwide. Current treatment options for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) are nucleoside or nucleotide analogues and pegylated interferons. Tenofovir and entecavir are much more commonly used as they have better efficacy, tolerability, and high genetic barriers to resistance.


The aim of this study was to assess the efficacies of tenofovir and entecavir in previously untreated CHB patients in a treatment cohort.

Patients and methods

We included CHB patients in a cohort including previously untreated HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative patients from 10 centers in Istanbul, Turkey. The patients were compared in terms of baseline characteristics, decrease in alanine transaminase (ALT), decrease in HBV-DNA to undetectable levels, HBeAg loss and anti-HBe development (among baseline HBeAg-positive patients), interventions to therapy because of lack of efficacy, side effects, severe side effects, and side effects that required change in treatment.


The study included 121 patients who were administered tenofovir and 130 patients who were administered entecavir. The majority of patients were men, with mild to moderate histology in both treatment groups. The mean duration of follow-up was 18 and 20 months for tenofovir and entecavir, respectively. Patients receiving both drugs showed comparable rates of HBeAg loss, rates of undetectable HBV-DNA levels, rates of ALT normalization, ALT decrease, and decrease in HBV-DNA. Both drugs were well tolerated.


This study shows that although the baseline characteristics did not match, tenofovir and entecavir sustained comparable virological efficacies. More patients discontinued entecavir during follow-up. Both drugs provided effective viral control, with few side effects.

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