PEG-interferon and ribavirin

PEG-interferon is used in combination with ribavirin to treat hepatitis C. Since the emergence of a new group of drugs known as DAAs (Direct-Acting Antivirals) the use of interferon has decreased.

PEG-interferon and ribavirin and the benefit of DNA analysis

The efficacy of combination therapy with PEG-interferon and ribavirin varies from one individual to another. This means that the efficacy and side effects of PEG-interferon and ribavirin can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes. Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.

PEG-interferon and ribavirin and the IL28B gene

Your individual likelihood of successful combination therapy with PEG-interferon and ribavirin may be partly explained by genetic variations.

It is known, for example, that mutations in the IL28B gene may be partly responsible. The IL28B gene is involved in the immune response to certain viruses, including hepatitis C. If you are IL28B positive, a successful treatment is significantly less likely than if you are IL28B negative.

Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to combination therapy with PEG-interferon and ribavirin.

Read more about IL28B »