Interferons for Chronic Hepatitis B
How Well It Works
It is important to weigh the benefits of treatment against the risks. Treatment for HBV infection is considered successful if blood tests show that the virus is no longer multiplying in the body, if liver enzyme levels return to normal, and if liver damage (such as Reference inflammation Opens New Window and scarring) improves.
The success of interferon treatment for hepatitis B depends on how treatment success is defined. Reference Relapse Opens New Window—when the virus starts to multiply again—is common after treatment is stopped. Interferons stop the growth of the virus over the long term in about 35% of people who use them.Reference 1 Recent studies suggest that peginterferon works a little better than interferon.Reference 2, Reference 3
Interferons work best for people who have high levels of liver enzymes and in whom the virus is multiplying. They are also more likely to work in people who have a strong immune system, who have had hepatitis for a short amount of time, and who became infected after childhood.Reference 4
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: October 29, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology