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5447Re: [GIWorld-Hepatitis] Question re Stroke & Rebetron

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  • claudine intexas
    Feb 28, 2001
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      The anemia that is caused by the Rebetron (the
      ribavirin part of it) will not respond to eating meat.
      You don't have IRON DEFICIENCY anemia, you have
      hemolytic anemia. All the meat in the world, or all
      the iron supplements, won't help at all, and in fact,
      the high iron content provides a great environment for
      the virus to multiply in. Not to mention it's hard on
      your liver. The ribavirin causes the destruction of
      red blood cells. The ONLY solution to this problem is
      a reduction in the amount of ribavirin. However,
      since your regular doctor doesn't seem to be familiar
      with the anemia caused by the ribavirin he may also
      not know how low the hemoglobin can drop to before
      your dose should be reduced, or how low it can drop
      before the ribavirin should be discontinued. This is
      one reason why specialists need to be determining your
      treatment and following you. Your regular doctor may
      be doing your blood work but your GI needs to be
      reading them and interpreting them for you. As for
      the low platelets, the interferon causes them to drop,
      but you'd be surprised how low they can go before it
      becomes a major concern. On your stroke question,
      people with heart conditions should not take ribavirin
      in most cases. But in people who don't have heart
      problems this is a very uncommon side effect. You can
      read about all these things in the prescribing
      information that lists all side effects, warnings, and
      dosing instructions (including when doses should be
      reduced) at http://www.rxlist.com Type in Inton-A in
      the search box, then scroll down to where you see
      (highlighted) Intron-A/Rebetron (I think, if I'm
      remembering right! I know if you type in Rebetron you
      only get the patient info, not the prescribing info).
      It sounds like your viral load has dropped quite a
      bit, have you thought about doing DAILY dosing of the
      interferon? If you do get to undetectable you really
      might want to talk to your doctor about staying on the
      treatment for a longer time. (Not fun to think about,
      I know.) There has been some indication that the
      length of treatment should be determined by WHEN you
      go undetectable. It makes sense if you think about
      it. Someone who doesn't go undetectable until week 40
      obviously has a more resistant strain of virus than
      someone who is undetectable by week 4.
      Good luck!

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