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Side effects of alpha interferon (INF) therapy with special reference to autoaggression processes in children with chronic hepatitis B

Dariusz Marek Lebensztejn, Maciej Kaczmarski

Med Sci Monit 1999; 5(3): CR510-513

ID: 504908

The aim of the study was to evaluate the frequency of side effects in children with chronic hepatitis (ch) B treated with IFN alpha. 69 children with clinical and histopathological diagnosis of ch were included in the study. IFN was used in the dose of 3 million IU 3 times a week for 20 weeks, monitoring adverse events associated with the administration of the drug. Autoimmune reactions were evaluated in 39 children on the basis of ANA presence in blood serum. The following were observed during interferon-therapy: fever - 100% children, lack of appetite - 45%, irritability - 30%, articular-muscular pain - 22%, dyspeptic symptoms - 20%, hair loss - 12%, dermal lesions - 7%, convulsions, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia or excessive appetite - 3%, polyuria - 1.5%. These symptoms withdrew during or after therapy with IFN. The presence of ANA in blood serum of 39 analysed patients was detected in 18% before the beginning of treatment and in 21% children after therapy completion. Conclusion: Side effects occurring in children with ch B during treatment course with IFN alpha are transient and do not affect drug safety.
key words: chronic hepatitis, HBV, interferon alpha, side effects, children

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