Depression does not influence hepatitis C treatment outcomes in people co-infected with HIV, according to the results of a small study conducted in Brighton and presented to the recent European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) conference, HIV and the Liver.
However, the investigators from the Royal Sussex County Hospital caution their results are only preliminary and need to be tested in a larger patient cohort.
Pegylated interferon and ribavirin are the backbone of current treatment regimes for hepatitis C infection. This therapy is associated with a high rate of depression, which often lead to the discontinuation of treatment. It is therefore recommended that patients should be screened for symptoms of depression before initiating therapy for hepatitis C, and prophylactic antidepressant treatment should be considered for people with existing depression. Antidepressant treatment and psychological support should also be offered to people who develop depression when taking anti-hepatitis C drugs.
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