News from Hepatitis Week of March 23, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 12

Study: Lamivudine May Aid in Persistent Cases of Hepatitis B

Some children and teeagers with difficult-to-treat hepatitis B appear to respond positively to the drug Lamivudine, according to a study reported in the March issues of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Lamivudine, a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, was given for 52 weeks to 20 children and teenagers with chronic hepatitis B infection who had been treated with interferon two to five years earlier.

At the end of one year, hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA declined by 95 percent in all patients. Eight of 18 or 44 percent had sustained undetectable HBV DNA.

Median pretreatment alanine aminotransferase (ALT) x1.5 upper limit of normal decreased to ALT x0.9 upper limit of normal after 1 year. No adverse effects were observed.

"Children with chronic hepatitis B infection treated with lamivudine after failure of interferon therapy had decreased HBV replication and improved ALT values," concluded the researchers.

Other sources: Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 22(3):224-2 29