A randomized, prospective trial of ribavirin 400 mg/day versus 800 mg/day in combination with peginterferon alfa-2a in hepatitis C virus genotypes 2 and 3

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We compared the efficacy and tolerability of 24 weeks of treatment with ribavirin 800 mg/day (group A) or 400 mg/day (group B) plus peginterferon alfa-2a 180 μg/week in treatment-naive patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 or 3. A total of 97 of 141 patients randomized to group A (68.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 60.5%-76.3%) and 90 of 141 patients randomized to group B (63.8; 95% CI 55.3%-71.7%) achieved a sustained virological response, defined as undetectable serum HCV RNA at the end of untreated follow-up (week 48). Among patients infected with genotype 3, the rate of sustained virological response was 67.5% (95% CI 58.4%-75.6%) in group A and 63.9% (95% CI 54.7%-72.4%) in group B, and among patients infected with genotype 2, the rate of sustained virological response was 77.8% (95% CI 54.2%-93.6%) in group A and 55.6% (95% CI 38.4%-83.7%) in group B. Relapse rates in the 2 treatment groups were similar (17% in group A and 20% in group B). The incidence of adverse events, laboratory abnormalities, and dose reductions was similar in the 2 treatment groups.Conclusion:The results suggest that when administered for 24 weeks with peginterferon alfa-2a, ribavirin doses of 400 and 800 mg/day produce equivalent outcomes in patients infected with HCV genotype 3.

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