Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Original Article

Can eicosapentaenoic acid maintain the original ribavirin dose or affect the response during the treatment course of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients?


Department of Tropical Medicine and Gastroenterology, Sohag University Faculty of Medicine, Sohag, Egypt


Sohag Center of Cardiac and Digestive System, Sohag, Egypt

Turk J Gastroenterol 2016; 27: 55-61
DOI: 10.5152/tjg.2015.150280
Read: 49 Downloads: 8 Published: 25 July 2019


Background/Aims: Combination therapy with peginterferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) has been recommended as a standard therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) against RBV-associated hemolytic anemia.


Materials and Methods: Two hundred and forty HCV patients included in the study were randomized to either the EPA group (n=120) or non-EPA group (n=120), and they received combination therapy with or without EPA. We compare changes in hemoglobin levels with RBV dose reduction rate in each group as well as treatment response.


Results: Of 120 patients randomized to receive combination therapy with EPA, 15/86 (17.5%) patients required RBV dose reduction, whereas 71/86 (82.5%) patients did not require RBV dose reduction; in the non-EPA group, 22/80 (27.5%) patients required RBV dose reduction and 58/80 (72.5%) patients did not require RBV dose reduction. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the rates of virologic response.


Conclusion: EPA can decrease the rate of RBV dose reduction and RBV-induced hemolysis during the course of combination treatment. Further trials are required to investigate the role of EPA in the current regimens of HCV treatment that include ribavirin.

EISSN 2148-5607