Monday, March 17, 2008

Interferon + Hep B medicine might be bad news...

Health Canada is warning hep B patients that taking interferon in addition to Telbivudine might increase the risk of peripheral neuropathy (weakness, numbness, and burning in the arms and/or legs. The antiviral agent was not tested for the use with interferon when it was licensed and approved. A small case tested by the maker's of the drug (Novartis) tested a small population of people and found that there were cases of serious peripheral neuropathy in 10% of the cases (5 out of 48). It is difficult to know, because Telbivudine and Interferon both produce the same side effect when used on their own, but Health Canada is convinced that using both increases the risk. 

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