The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government.
Read our disclaimer for details.
Psychiatric disorders or drug addiction are often regarded as contraindications against the use of Interferon-alpha in patients with chronic hepatitis C. The investigators aim is/was to get prospective data about adherence, efficacy and mental side effects of IFN-alpha treatment in different psychiatric risk groups compared to controls. In a prospective trial, 81 patients with chronic hepatitis C (positive HCV-RNA and elevated ALT) and psychiatric disorders (n=16), methadone substitution (n=21), former drug addiction (n=21) or controls without psychiatric history or addiction (n=23) should be/were treated with a combination of IFN-alpha-2a 3 x 3 Mio U/week and ribavirin (1000-1200 mg/day).
Condition or disease
Mental DisordersDrug Addiction
Patients from the Munich University outpatient department of psychiatry or gastroenterology as well as inpatients with elevated transaminases were tested for HCV-infection and considered for our trial to avoid a positive or negative selection. Medical inclusion criteria were a detectable serum HCV-RNA level in a PCR-based assay (AMPLICOR®, Roche Diagnostics, Branchburg, NJ) for more than 6 months and an elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT > 30 U/L, normal <24 U/L). General exclusion criteria were the presence of other liver disease, Child B or C cirrhosis, severe cardiac or neurological disease, co-infection with hepatitis B or HIV, hepatocellular carcinoma evaluated by ultrasound and alpha-fetoprotein, autoimmune disorders, a neutrophil count below 1500 per cubic millimetre, and a platelet count below 75000 per cubic millimetre.
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.
Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years to 70 Years (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
HCV-infected Controls, Psychiatric patients, Patients with former drug addiction and patients with methadone substitution
Medical inclusion criteria were a detectable serum HCV-RNA level in a PCR-based assay (AMPLICOR®, Roche Diagnostics, Branchburg, NJ) for more than 6 months and an elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT > 30 U/L, normal <24 U/L).
General exclusion criteria were the presence of other liver disease
Child B or C cirrhosis
Severe cardiac or neurological disease
Co-infection with hepatitis B or HIV
Hepatocellular carcinoma evaluated by ultrasound and alpha-fetoprotein