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A study from Baylor Medical School in Houston shows that pegylated interferon alpha 2-b injections and ribavirin pills clear the hepatitis C virus from the blood in 61 percent of patients and improves liver function in most patients.

More than 4 million Americans get hepatitis C from infected needles or blood transfusions, and each year, more than 10,000 Americans die from it. 48 weeks of weekly self injections of pegylated interferon and daily ribavirin pills cured 61 percent of these patients. The pegylated interferon stays in the body longer than regular interferon and requires less frequent injections. This treatment was not offered to people whose livers are severely damaged, who abuse alcohol or drugs or suffer from severe uncontrolled psychiatric illness. The most common side effects are flu-like symptoms, fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, poor appetite, and anxiety or depression. For more on hepatitis C see report #G125.

Reported 3/1/02

May 31st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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