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News » Depression reduces likelihood of successful treatment of hepatitis C

Depression reduces likelihood of successful treatment of hepatitis C

Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine found that subjects receiving interferon-alpha plus ribavirin therapy treatment for hepatitis C were less likely to be free of the disease after 6 months of treatment if they developed depression during the course of the treatment. This therapy commonly has psychiatric side effects and now the development of depression has been found to affect the efficacy of the medication. This is the biggest drawback of the current antiviral therapy. The study results found that 59-69% of subjects on the medication who remained free of depression were also free of the virus after 24 weeks compared to 34% of subjects who developed depression during the treatment. Hepatitis C is the prime cause of liver transplants and it's effects are felt by 3-5 million Americans. The antiviral therapy can remove the virus in 40-50% of cases. Researchers believe that patients planning to embark on the treatment should first be screened for psychological state in order to determine which patients will probably not have a successful treatment.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by EurekAlert

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About: Depression reduces likelihood of successful treatment of hepatitis C

Date: 14 January 2005

Source: EurekAlert


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