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FAQ: Can I take interferon and ribavirin a second time, if my first course of treatment didn't work?

for Veterans and the Public

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I take interferon and ribavirin a second time, if my first course of treatment didn't work?

Getting treated a second time for hepatitis C ("re-treatment") is a possibility for some patients, and the options for retreatment are much better than in the past.

For genotype 1 patients who were treated and either had no response or a relapse to interferon or interferon plus ribavirin, they could potentially be retreated with pegylated interferon, ribavirin plus either telaprevir or boceprevir. This would increase the chance of treatment success by adding either telaprevir or boceprevir.

For genotype 2 or 3 patients who were treated and either had no response or a relapse to interferon or ribavirin, they could potentially be retreated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin if their first treatment had problems which could potentially be fixed with a second try (such as problems with side effects or missed doses).

New drugs which are anticipated for hepatitis C may allow retreatment as well. When new drugs become available, we will update our information on this topic.

The decision to try another course of treatment is not an easy one to make. It needs to be made only after careful discussion between you and your doctor.