The drug amantadine does not increase the effectiveness of interferon in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, according to a study reported in the September-October issue of Hepatogastroenterology.
Amantadine is used to treat Parkinson's disease and similar conditions as well as to prevent and treat respiratory infections caused by the influenza virus.
A team of Taiwanese researchers split 30 study participants evenly into two groups. One group received interferon alfa-2a and an oral placebo for 24 weeks. The other group received amantadine plus interferon for 24 weeks.
At the end of the treatment period, 33 percent of the 15 patients in the amantadine group responded to the combination therapy, while 47 percent of the 15 patients in the placebo group responded to interferon therapy alone.
Other sources: Hepatogastroenterology Sep-Oct;50(53):1575-8