Adverse reactions to interferon alpha (INF alpha) treatment in children with chronic viral hepatitis
Anna Szaflarska-Szczepanik, Ewa Łoś, Andrzej Chrobot, Kinga Michalska, Mieczysława Czerwionka-Szaflarska
Med Sci Monit 1999; 5(5): CR878-884
The aim of the study was to evaluate adverse reactions to the treatment with interferon alpha in children with chronic hepatitis B and/or C. 162 children, both boys and girls aged 1-16 years, who completed the treatment with interferon were included in our analysis. Adverse reactions were compared in relation to the type of hepatotropic virus, patient's age, gender and concomitant diseases. We also analysed whether there was any correlation with the kind of medicinal product used INFa (or Roferon).The study revealed that different adverse reactions following interferon-therapy occurred in 84% children. The most common included: higher body temperature, lack of appetite, osteoarticular and muscular pain and anaemia. There were no significant differences in the occurrence of these reactions in relation to virus type and patients' gender. On the other hand, slight differences were observed in children from various age groups and between those treated with various interferon preparations. Side effects (autoimmune complications, convulsions) required the discontinuation of therapy only in 4 children (2.5%).Summing up, children with chronic hepatitis B and/or C treated with interferon a frequently display adverse reactions, but in the majority of cases these side effects are of mild intensity and allow for the continuation of treatment.
Keywords: children, chronic viral hepatitis, interferon alpha