Prevalence of Ribavirin-Induced Anaemia in Patients Treated for Chronic HCV Infection

Original article


Ahmed F El-hassi , Sahar HS, Mohamed BA

Infectious disease unit / viral hepatitis clinic , Jamahiriya Hospital — Benghazi,Libya.

Garyounis Medical Journal Vol.20,No.1.2003:120-125


Objectives: to determine the frequency of ribavirin induced anaemia in patients with chronic hepatitis C under treatment with ribavirin. Setting: Viral hepatitis clinic, Jamahiriya hospital, Benghazi Libya. Material & Methods: 64 patients (36 males and 28 females) under follow up in our viral Hepatitis clinic and receiving combination therapy (interferon a2b / Ribavirin) for chronic HCV infection (Dose ranging from 800mg to 1200mg) were watched for the development of anaemia as a side effect of Ribavirin. Hemoglobin level was measured before and during first 18 weeks of combination therapy. Results: Ten patients developed significant anaemia (6.4%) (8 females and 2 males) and Hb < 10 gm/dl which was dose dependent and required Dose reduction up to 400mg . Nine patients (8 female and 1 male) (90%) responded to dose reduction. One patient showed no response and discovered to be megaloblastic anaemia. Conclusion: Dose reduction is the preferable mode of treatment of ribavirin induces anaemia. In addition to dose modification, other treatment modalities have been tried. Only recombinant human erythropoietin-alfa has shown promising result. Keywords: HCV, Ribavirin, Hemolytic anemia. Link/DOI: