Treatment of chronic hepatitis C with amantadine

Dig Dis Sci. 1997 Aug;42(8):1681-7. doi: 10.1023/a:1018857314351.


Treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection with interferon has been disappointing, with less than one third of patients achieving a sustained response and most experiencing significant side effects. For these reasons, an open-labeled prospective pilot study was conducted to test the safety and efficacy of the antiviral drug, amantadine, in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection who had previously failed therapy with interferon-alpha 2b. Twenty-two patients with chronic hepatitis C were enrolled into the study and treated with amantadine 100 mg orally twice daily for six months. Control groups included the same cohort followed off therapy for 29-36 months or during therapy with interferon. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values decreased in 64% (P = 0.01) of patients with amantadine therapy compared to intervals without therapy or to interferon therapy. Twenty-seven percent of patients treated with amantadine had normalization of ALT values and loss of HCV RNA after six months while 18% achieved a sustained response with loss of HCV RNA by PCR six months after discontinuation of amantadine. Therapy with amantadine improved both biochemical and virological markers in patients with hepatitis C who had previously not responded to treatment with interferon.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Amantadine / adverse effects
  • Amantadine / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Viral / analysis


  • Antiviral Agents
  • RNA, Viral
  • Amantadine
  • Alanine Transaminase