Improved virologic response in chronic hepatitis C genotype 4 treated with nitazoxanide, peginterferon, and ribavirin.Gastroenterology. 2009 Mar; 136(3):856-62.G
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Sustained virologic response (SVR) rates of 50%-60% have been achieved in patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 4 treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin. The safety and efficacy of nitazoxanide plus peginterferon alfa-2a, with or without ribavirin, were evaluated in a randomized controlled trial at 2 centers in Egypt.
Previously untreated patients with chronic hepatitis C and genotype 4 infection were assigned randomly to groups that were given standard of care (peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin for 48 weeks, n = 40), nitazoxanide monotherapy for 12 weeks followed by nitazoxanide plus peginterferon alfa-2a for 36 weeks (n = 28), or nitazoxanide monotherapy for 12 weeks followed by nitazoxanide plus peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin for 36 weeks (n = 28). Therapeutics included nitazoxanide (500 mg) twice daily, peginterferon alfa-2a (180 microg) once weekly, and weight-based ribavirin (1000-1200 mg/day).
The percentages of rapid virologic response (RVR), defined as undetectable HCV RNA at week 4 of combination therapy, and SVR were significantly higher in patients given the triple therapy compared with the standard of care (64% vs 38%, P = .048; and 79% vs 50%, P = .023; respectively). Patients given nitazoxanide plus peginterferon alfa-2a had intermediate rates of RVR (54%) and SVR (61%). Adverse events were similar across treatment groups except for higher rates of anemia in the groups receiving ribavirin.
The combination of nitazoxanide, peginterferon alfa-2a, and ribavirin increased the percentages of patients with RVR and SVR, compared with patients given peginterferon plus ribavirin, without an increase in adverse events.