People who have hepatitis C may benefit from using PegIntron. If this drug is used alone, it is only approved for adults age 18 and older. However, if it is used in combination with ribavirin, the drug is approved for adults and children as young as three years old. PegIntron works to fight the hepatitis C virus by activating the body's response to viruses.
What Is PegIntron Used For?PegIntron® (peginterferon alfa-2b) is a prescription medication approved for treating chronic hepatitis C. It works best when combined with ribavirin (Rebetol®), although it can be taken alone if necessary. It works even better when combined with both ribavirin and a hepatitis C protease inhibitor (like Incivek™ or Victrelis™), although such a combination is not appropriate for all individuals.
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to an infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). People get hepatitis C by coming into contact with an infected person's blood (see Hepatitis C Transmission for more information about how the virus is spread).
Once someone is infected with hepatitis C, the infection can be acute, or become chronic. In an acute infection, the virus is cleared from the body within a few months. Most of the time, however, the virus is not completely cleared, and the infection becomes chronic, or continues for a long time. Chronic hepatitis C can cause liver problems, including liver cirrhosis (scarring), cancer, and liver failure.
There are different types of hepatitis C virus; these different types are referred to as hepatitis C genotypes. The main hepatitis C genotypes are simply known as genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Genotype 1 is the most common genotype in the United States. Between 70 percent and 90 percent of people in the United States with hepatitis C have a genotype 1 infection.
(Click Hepatitis C Genotypes to learn more about these genotypes, including why it is important to know which genotype is causing the hepatitis infection.)