Alpha interferons, including PEGASYS (peginterferon alfa-2a), may cause or aggravate fatal or life-threatening neuropsychiatric, autoimmune, ischemic, and infectious disorders. Patients should be monitored closely with periodic clinical and laboratory evaluations. Therapy should be withdrawn in patients with persistently severe or worsening signs or symptoms of these conditions. In many, but not all cases, these disorders resolve after stopping PEGASYS therapy (see WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Use with Ribavirin. Ribavirin, including COPEGUS® , may cause birth defects and/or death of the fetus. Extreme care must be taken to avoid pregnancy in female patients and in female partners of male patients. Ribavirin causes hemolytic anemia. The anemia associated with ribavirin therapy may result in a worsening of cardiac disease. Ribavirin is genotoxic and mutagenic and should be considered a potential carcinogen (see COPEGUS Package Insert for additional information and other WARNINGS).
PEGASYS, peginterferon alfa-2a, is a covalent conjugate of recombinant alfa-2a interferon (approximate molecular weight [MW] 20,000 daltons) with a single branched bis-monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (PEG) chain (approximate MW 40,000 daltons).
PEGASYS, peginterferon alfa-2a, alone or in combination with COPEGUS, is indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C virus infection who have compensated liver disease and have not been previously treated with interferon alpha. Patients in whom efficacy was demonstrated included patients with compensated liver disease and histological evidence of cirrhosis (Child-Pugh class A).
Media Articles Related to Pegasys (Peginterferon Alfa-2a)
One in 100 Americans has chronic hepatitis C infection
Source: Yahoo Health News [2014.03.07]
By Will Boggs MD NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - At least one percent of Americans are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus, which over time can severely damage the liver, according to a new study. "Hepatitis C has a severe impact on...
U.S. survey reveals 2.7 million living with chronic hepatitis C virus
Source: Liver Disease / Hepatitis News From Medical News Today [2014.03.05]
A survey of U.S. households conducted between 2003 and 2010 revealed that approximately 2.7 million US residents are infected with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). This figure marks a decrease by about 500,000 cases identified by a similar analysis conducted between 1999 and 2000. The findings are being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Can low-dose interferon prevent relapse of hepatitis C virus infection?
Source: Health News from Medical News Today [2014.03.07]
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can lead to serious diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer of the liver, so viral clearance and prevention of relapse are important treatment goals. Low-dose oral interferon may reduce the risk of HCV relapse in patients with mild liver fibrosis according to a study published in Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research website.
PodMed: A Medical News Roundup From Johns Hopkins (with audio)
Source: MedPageToday.com - medical news plus CME for physicians [2014.03.07]
(MedPage Today) -- This week's topics include genetic modification of HIV susceptibility, chronic hepatitis C in the U.S., moving at-risk kids to more affluent neighborhoods, and the impact of casino opening on obesity in American Indian children.
New Interferon-Free Drugs for Hep C Show High Cure Rates
Source: Medscape Gastroenterology Headlines [2014.03.04]
Interferon has been the primary treatment for chronic hepatitis C for 2 decades, but new drugs promise better results with fewer adverse effects.
Medscape Medical News
Published Studies Related to Pegasys (Peginterferon Alfa-2a)
Randomised clinical trial: efficacy of peginterferon alfa-2a in HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B patients with lamivudine resistance. [2011.08]
BACKGROUND: Previous studies suggested that a finite course of peginterferon alfa-2a may offer an alternative rescue therapy for patients with lamivudine resistance. However, because of the limitation of study design and small sample size, it is difficult to make definitive conclusion. AIM: To explore the role of peginterferon alfa-2a, in the rescue treatment of HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B patients with lamivudine resistance... CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the response to peginterferon alfa-2a among patients with lamivudine resistance was suboptimal. HBeAg seroconversion rate at week 72 by 48 weeks peginterferon alfa-2a treatment was higher than continuous adefovir therapy. Monitoring HBsAg levels can help to predict response to peginterferon alfa-2a. (c) 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Coffee consumption is associated with response to peginterferon and ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. [2011.06]
BACKGROUND & AIMS: High-level coffee consumption has been associated with reduced progression of pre-existing liver diseases and lower risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. However, its relationship with therapy for hepatitis C virus infection has not been evaluated... CONCLUSIONS: High-level consumption of coffee (more than 3 cups per day) is an independent predictor of improved virologic response to peginterferon plus ribavirin in patients with hepatitis C. Copyright (c) 2011 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PHOENIX: A randomized controlled trial of peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin as a prophylactic treatment after liver transplantation for hepatitis C virus. [2011.05]
The efficacy, tolerability, and safety of the prophylactic treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) after liver transplantation (LT) with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin are not known. LT recipients with HCV were randomized to peginterferon alfa-2a/ribavirin treatment or observation 10 to 26 weeks post-LT.
Peginterferon with or without ribavirin has minimal effect on quality of life, behavioral/emotional, and cognitive outcomes in children. [2011.05]
CONCLUSION: Overall QOL and psychosocial functioning are not deleteriously impacted by PEG 2a + RV or PL treatment of children with HCV. Copyright (c) 2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Early virologic response and IL28B polymorphisms in patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 3 treated with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin. [2011.05]
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Polymorphisms of the IL28B gene (rs12979860 and rs8099917) are associated with high sustained virological response (SVR) rates in HCV genotype 1 patients. This study analyzes the impact of these IL28B polymorphisms on early treatment response (weeks 2 and 4) and SVR in HCV genotype 3 patients... CONCLUSIONS: IL28B polymorphisms modulate early virologic response to peginterferon/ribavirin treatment. In contrast to HCV genotype 1 patients, no effect on SVR rates was observed in genotype 3 patients. The clinical relevance of an earlier viral decline in C/C patients needs to be determined. Copyright (c) 2010 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Clinical Trials Related to Pegasys (Peginterferon Alfa-2a)
A Study of HCV Polymerase Inhibitor Pro-Drug in Combination With PEGASYS Plus COPEGUS Compared With PEGASYS Plus COPEGUS in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 1 Infection. [Active, not recruiting]
This 7 arm study will determine the optimal treatment combination, based on efficacy and
safety. Patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), genotype 1, will be randomized to one of 7
treatment groups. Groups 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 will receive triple combination treatment with HCV
polymerase inhibitor pro-drug (at doses of 500, 1000 or 1500mg po bid) plus PEGASYS (90 or
180 micrograms sc weekly) plus Copegus (1000 or 1200mg po qd) for 24 weeks, followed by 24
weeks of open label Standard of Care (PEGASYS 180 micrograms sc weekly plus Copegus
1000/1200mg po qd). Group 3 will receive HCV polymerase inhibitor pro-drug 500mg po bid plus
PEGASYS 180 micrograms sc weekly plus Copegus 1000/1200mg po qd for 24 weeks; after 24 weeks,
those achieving a rapid virological response (RVR) will stop all medication, and non-RVR
patients will remain on triple combination for an additional 24 weeks. Group 7 will receive
SOC for 48 weeks. There will be a 24 week period of treatment-free follow-up for all
treatment groups. The anticipated time on study treatment is 3-12 months, and the target
sample size is 100-500 individuals.
A Study of PEGASYS (Peginterferon Alfa-2a (40KD)) in Combination With COPEGUS (Ribavirin) in Interferon-Naive Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Infection (CHC). [Completed]
The effects of treatment with different doses of PEGASYS in combination with different doses
of ribavirin will be evaluated in patients with CHC genotype 1 who have a high viral titer,
body weight greater than 85kg (187lbs) and no prior treatment with interferon. The
anticipated time on study treatment is 3-12 months and the target sample size is 100-500
A Study of Induction Dosing With PEGASYS (Peginterferon Alfa-2a (40KD)) Plus Copegus in Treatment-Naive Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C. [Active, not recruiting]
This 4 arm study will compare the efficacy and safety of PEGASYS induction and maintenance
dosing, versus standard fixed dosing in combination with Copegus,and the efficacy and safety
of higher dose versus standard dose Copegus in combination with PEGASYS. Patients with
chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection of high viral titer, and baseline body weight
>=85kg, will be randomized to one of 4 groups, to receive a)PEGASYS 180 micrograms sc weekly
plus Copegus 1200mg po daily, b)PEGASYS 180 micrograms sc weekly plus Copegus 1400-1600mg po
daily, c)PEGASYS 360 micrograms sc weekly (induction) followed by 180 micrograms sc weekly
(maintenance) plus Copegus 1200mg po daily or d)PEGASYS 360 micrograms sc weekly (induction)
followed by 180 micrograms sc weekly (maintenance) plus Copegus 1400-1600mg po daily.
Following 48 weeks treatment, there will be a 24 week period of treatment-free follow-up. The
anticipated time on study treatment is 3-12 months, and the target sample size is 500+
A Study of PEGASYS (Peginterferon Alfa-2a (40KD)) Plus COPEGUS (Ribavirin) in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) Genotype 1 and Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) Co-Infection. [Active, not recruiting]
This 2 arm study will compare the efficacy and safety of treatment with Pegasys (180
micrograms sc weekly) plus Copegus (800mg po daily) and PEGASYS (180 micrograms sc weekly)
plus Copegus (1000-1200mg po daily) in interferon-naive patients with CHC genotype 1
co-infected with HIV-1. Treatment will be administered for 48 weeks, and this will be
followed by 24 treatment-free weeks. The anticipated time on study treatment is 3-12 months,
and the target sample size is 100-500 individuals.
REPEAT Study - A Study of PEGASYS (Peginterferon Alfa-2a (40KD)) Therapy in Combination With COPEGUS (Ribavirin) in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) Who Did Not Respond to Previous PegIntron (Peginterferon Alfa-2b (12KD))/Ribavirin Combination Therapy [Completed]
This 4 arm study is designed for patients with CHC who have not responded to peginterferon
alfa-2b (12KD)/ribavirin combination therapy. In these patients, the effects of lengthening
the duration of treatment, as well as including an initial 12-week period of high-dose
PEGASYS (360 micrograms sc), are compared with the standard combination therapy of PEGASYS
(180 micrograms sc) and ribavirin (1000-1200mg po). The anticipated time on study treatment
is 1-2 years and the target sample size is 500+ individuals.
Reports of Suspected Pegasys (Peginterferon Alfa-2a) Side Effects
White Blood Cell Count Decreased (162),
Dyspnoea (116), more >>
Page last updated: 2014-03-07