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Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1642
Interferon (IFN) is the only treatment so far approved world-wide for chronic hepatitis C. Though proof of long term benefit is lacking, metanalyses have provided extrapolations that substantiate the hypothesis that this therapy can modify favourably the natural history of the disease. Results, however, are limited and new forms of therapy, complementary or alternative to IFN, have been developed. Efforts to ameliorate the results of alfa-IFN mono therapy in chronic hepatitis C with new IFNs, or the manipulation of IFN monotherapy so as to obtain the maximum results compatible with tolerance, have not produced a better results than the classical protocols of alfa IFN monotherapy. Important recent therapeutic progress that surpasses and advances the results obtained with single IFN therapy is the combination of IFN with ribavirin, with which overall rates of response have increased three times compared to IFN monotherapy. Combination therapy has become the treatment of choice for IFN naive patients as well as for IFN relapses; it is not efficacious in patients who have not responded to IFN.