Thirty male patients (27 homosexual) with biopsy proven chronic active hepatitis B were randomised to receive lymphoblastoid interferon (Wellferon) or no treatment. All patients were HBeAg positive and had continuing viral replication. Patients receiving treatment were given a single daily intramuscular injection of interferon for 28 days at a starting dose of 2.5 MU/m2 increasing to a maximum of 7.5 MU/m2/day. Transient side effects of malaise and influenza like symptoms occurred in all patients and resolved rapidly after treatment. Hepatitis B viral replication was suppressed during interferon treatment in all patients but the effect was limited to the period of therapy. After one year there was no appreciable difference in viral markers between the two groups of patients and this treatment schedule appears less effective than the thrice weekly, three month regimes recently reported from other centres.
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