Pakistan remains in the intermediate prevalence area for Hepatitis B with an estimated carrier rate of 2.5%. Chronic Hepatitis B patients should be considered for treatment if Alanine transaminase (ALT) is persistently elevated in the last 6 months and HBV DNA is > 2000 IU/ml, irrespective of HBeAg status. In case of normal ALT and HBV DNA > 2000 IU/ml, treatment should only be considered if there is advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis on liver biopsy. HBV DNA positive cirrhotic patients should receive treatment irrespective of ALT status. Medicine available for the treatment of Hepatitis B in Pakistan are lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine, entecavir, standard and pegylated interferon and thymosin. Patients who fail to achieve primary response as evidenced by < 2 log decrease in serum HBV DNA level after 6 months of nucleoside analogue therapy should have modification of treatment. Add-on adefovir therapy is indicated in those showing resistance to lamivudine or else switch to entecavir. For lamivudine-naïve patients who develop drug resistance while on adefovir, add-on or switching to lamivudine, telbivudine or entecavir is indicated. Treatment should be stopped in HBeAg positive patients on oral antiviral agents who seroconvert (disappearance of HBeAg and appearance of anti-HBe antibody) with undetectable HBVDNA documented on two separate occasions at least 6 months apart. In HBeAg negative patients, discontinuation may be considered if undetectable HBV-DNA has been documented on three separate occasions 6 months apart although current evidence seems to support long term therapy in this group.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2010|
- Hepatitis B
- Interferon alpha
- Treatment guidelines