Combination therapy with interferon-alpha(2b), ribavirin, and amantadine in chronic hepatitis C nonresponders to interferon and ribavirin

Dig Dis Sci. 2003 Mar;48(3):594-7. doi: 10.1023/a:1022509304694.


Standard therapies for the treatment of hepatitis C are ineffective in almost 50% of patients. Amantadine is an antiviral agent that may have activity against hepatitis C virus. In this pilot study, we evaluated the efficacy of a combination of interferon, ribavirin, and amantadine in patients with chronic hepatitis C who had previously failed 6-12 months of treatment with interferon and ribavirin. In this prospective open-label study, 23 patients were treated with a combination of interferon-alpha(2b) 3 million units subcutaneously three times per week, ribavirin 1000-1200 mg daily, and amantadine 100 mg twice daily for 6-12 months. Treatment was discontinued at 6 months if the patients had detectable HCV RNA by PCR. All patients were followed for 6 months after the completion of treatment. At the end of treatment, the biochemical response was 47% and the virological response was 30%. However, the rate of sustained virological response was only 13% (3/23). There were no unexpected side effects with triple therapy. In conclusion, triple therapy with interferon, ribavirin and amantadine resulted in a low sustained viral clearance in chronic hepatitis C patients who had previously failed interferon and ribavirin combination therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amantadine / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / blood
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Failure


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • RNA, Viral
  • Ribavirin
  • Amantadine