Successful treatment of chronic hepatitis C with pegylated interferon in combination with ribavirin in a methadone maintenance treatment program

Alain H. Litwin, Kenneth A. Harris, Shadi Nahvi, Philippe J. Zamor, Irene J. Soloway, Peter L. Tenore, Daniel Kaswan, Marc N. Gourevitch, Julia H. Arnsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Injection drug users constitute 60% of the more than 4 million people in the United States with hepatitis C virus (HCV), including many methadone maintenance patients. Few data exist describing clinical outcomes for patients receiving HCV treatment on-site in methadone maintenance settings. In this retrospective study, we describe clinical outcomes for 73 patients receiving HCV treatment on-site in a methadone maintenance treatment program. Fifty-five percent of patients achieved end-of-treatment response, and 45% achieved sustained viral response. These treatment response rates are nearly equivalent to previously published HCV treatment response rates, despite high prevalences of ongoing drug use (49%), psychiatric comorbidity (67%), and HIV coinfection (32%). These data show that on-site HCV treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is effective in methadone-maintained patients, many of whom are active drug users, psychiatrically ill, or HIV coinfected, and that methadone maintenance treatment programs represent an opportunity to safely treat chronic hepatitis C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009



  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • HCV
  • Interferon
  • Methadone maintenance
  • Opiate agonist treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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