Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi

A pilot study of add-on oral hypoglycemic agents in treatment-naïve genotype-1 chronic hepatitis C patients receiving peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin.

PMID 24974131


Insulin resistance (IR) affects sustained virological response (SVR) to peginterferon alfa plus ribavirin (PR) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Whether add-on oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) to PR improve SVR remains unclear; therefore, we conducted a prospective, randomized pilot trial on 23 consecutive patients with genotype 1 CHC and IR in Taiwan. Patients were randomized to receive acarbose (Arm A; n = 7) or metformin (Arm B; n = 6) or pioglitazone (Arm C; n = 5) in addition to peginterferon alfa-2b (1.5 μg/kg/week) plus ribavirin (1000-1200 mg/day) or just PR (Arm D; n = 5). The primary end point was SVR, and secondary end points were viral clearance at Weeks 17, 29, and 53. There were no differences among all arms at baseline. Using intent-to-treat analysis, SVR was observed in 66.7% (4/6), 83.3% (5/6), 66.7% (4/6), and 60% (3/5) in Arms A, B, C, and D, respectively. SVR was higher in female patients receiving OHA [90% (9/10)] than in male patients [50% (4/8)]. Results of per protocol analysis showed that SVR was 80.0% (4/5) in Arm A, 100% (5/5) in Arm B, 66.7% (4/6) in Arm C, and 60% (3/5) in Arm D. Patients receiving OHA had a higher rapid virologic response: 11/18 (61%) versus 2/5 (40%). Complete early virologic response was comparable between patients receiving OHA and PR [15/18 (83%) vs. 4/5 (80%)]. Our preliminary data show add-on OHAs to PR might achieve better early viral kinetics and SVR. However, further larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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Ribavirin, antiviral
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