Ribavirin priming has no beneficial effects for chronic hepatitis C patients

Przegl Epidemiol. 2014;68(3):429-33, 539-42.
[Article in English, Polish]


Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of an initial dose of ribavirin administered before a 48-week course of treatment with peg-IFN + ribavirin in treatment-naïve patients and in patients after previous failure of CHC treatment.

Material and methods: A total of 103 patients with chronic hepatitis C infected with genotype 1 HCV were qualified to the study. Study patients were randomised to receive one of two treatments: A- RBV for 4 weeks followed by combined therapy with peg-IFN alpha-2a +RBV for 48 weeks (n = 73), or B- combined therapy with peg-IFN alpha-2a +RBV for 48 weeks (n = 30).

Results: SVR 24 was observed in 44% patients in group A and in group 40% patients in group B (40%), p > 0.05. Comparing subgroups of the naive patients, it was found that the SVR24 value was higher in group A than group B (57% vs. 47%, p > 0.05). In the re-therapy subgroups, higher treatment response rates in patients not responding earlier was found in group A than group B (39% vs. 16%, p > 0.05).

Conclusion: No significant advantage was found in the use of a priming method over a standard regimen. However, it could be recommended in patients with a total lack of response to peg-IFN and ribavirin when no other therapeutic options are available.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Premedication*
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ribavirin
  • peginterferon alfa-2a