Dual treatment with sofosbuvir plus ribavirin is as effective as triple therapy with pegylated interferon plus sofosbuvir plus ribavirin in predominant genotype 3 patients with chronic hepatitis C

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Abstract

Background and Aim:

Sofosbuvir (SOF) was the first directly acting antiviral made available for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in India. We describe our “real life” experience of using SOF with ribavirin (RBV) with or without pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) in predominant genotype 3 patients with CHC.

Methods:

A total of 158 patients (men 99 [62.6%], mean age 40.3 ± 12.8 years) with CHC treated with dual therapy (SOF + RBV) for 24 weeks or triple therapy (Peg-IFN + SOF + RBV) for 12 weeks were included prospectively. Patients with co-infection, decompensated liver disease, and post-organ transplantation were excluded. Data were analysed for the preference of treatment regimen, end of treatment response (ETR), sustained virological response at 12 weeks, and side effects.

Results:

Genotype 3 was the predominant genotype (105 [66.4%]) followed by genotype 1 (40 [25.3%]) and genotype 4 (13[8.2%]). Forty-eight (30.37%) patients had cirrhosis (LSM ≥ 13 kPa), and 30 (19%) were treatment experienced with Peg-IFN + RBV. A total of 103 (65.18%) patients received dual therapy, and 55 (34.81%) received triple therapy. Resentment to receive injections, inaccessibility to a facility, fear of injection or its side effects, and financial constraints were the reasons to refuse triple therapy. All patients in triple therapy group and all but two patients (98%) in the dual therapy group attained ETR. All those who achieved ETR achieved sustained virological response at 12 weeks in both groups. But for anemia in three patients (two in triple, one in dual therapy), there were no major side effects.

Conclusions:

Most patients with CHC prefer an oral treatment with directly acting antivirals. Both oral and interferon-based regimens achieve high response rate.

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