Administration of ribavirin causes erythrocyte hemolysis to a variable degree in most patients. Therefore, ribavirin is contraindicated in patients with anemia, hemolysis, and hemoglobinopathies. Ribavirin is excreted by the kidneys; thus, patients with renal disease (ie, serum creatinine > 2.0 mg/dL) can develop severe hemolysis. Monotherapy with pegylated interferon alfa is preferred in situations in which therapy with ribavirin is contraindicated.1,2
- Administration of pegylated interferon alfa.
1. Chronic hepatitis C: current disease management. Bethesda (MD): National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse; 2002. NIH Publication No. 02-4230. Available at http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/pubs/chrnhepc/chrnhepc.htm. Accessed 2 Dec 2002.
2. Management of hepatitis C: 2002. National Institutes of Health Consensus
Development Conference Statement; 2002 Jun 10-12; Bethesda, MD. Available at http://consensus.nih.gov/cons/116/116cdc_intro.htm. Accessed 2 Dec 2002.
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