Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Interferon Tied to Psychosis in Hepatitis C Patients. (Four of Six Patients Affected)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Interferon Tied to Psychosis in Hepatitis C Patients. (Four of Six Patients Affected)

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - The use of alpha interferon has long been associated with depression, but for the first time, patients enrolled in a clinical trial using alpha interferon to treat hepatitis C developed psychosis, Dr. Rosalind G. Hoffman reported at the annual winter meeting of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis.

Although some physicians recommend adding antidepressants to alpha interferon as a prophylaxis for depression, this may tend to increase the risk that patients will experience mania or psychosis, said Dr. Hoffman of the department of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York.

Six patients with comorbid HIV and hepatitis C were enrolled in a clinical trial to treat hepatitis C. The trial compared alpha interferon at a dosage of 3 million units / day with the same dosage given three times a week. All patients also received 8001,200 mg/day ribavirin. Psychosis, which affected four of the six patients in arms of the study resolved when the interferon was reduced or eliminated and the patients received olanzapine.

One case involved a 39-year-old woman who had been HIV positive since 1994. A former intravenous drug user, she had been treated for anxiety and depression and had experienced suicidal ideation when she first received her HIV diagnosis. She had no psychiatric diagnoses when she entered the trial, in which she received alpha interferon daily. During week 11 she experienced mild depression associated with a family crisis. During week 13 she phoned the clinic in tears. She reported auditory hallucinations involving the voice of her dead mother, whom she heard at night. She said she felt as if she were going crazy.

The medical team reduced her alpha interferon dosage to 1.5 million units / day and started her on 2.5 mg olanzapine daily. She experienced resolution of her auditory hallucinations within a week, but she continued to have mood swings. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.