Ribavirin free direct-acting antivirals in adolescents with hepatitis C and thalassemia

  • Muhammad Arshad Alvi Assistant Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, The Children’s Hospital & the Institute of child health, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Huma Arshad Cheema
  • Anjum Saeed
  • Sara Batool
Keywords: Thalassemia, HCV, DAAs, Blood Transfusion, Daclatasavir, Sofosbuvir


Background: Recently introduced antivirals (ribavirin free direct-acting antivirals) are now recommended in pediatric age group above 12 years of age but are not yet extensively studied in thalassemic patients with hepatitis C infection. This study aims to study the safety and efficacy of newer ribavirin-free direct acting antivirals in thalassemic children with hepatitis C.

Patients and Methods: All thalassemic patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection fulfilling the inclusion criteria were recruited consecutively. Ribavirin free direct-acting antivirals (DAA) were started according to genotypes. Virological response was assessed at baseline, four, twelve and twenty-four weeks. Data regarding safety and efficacy of DAA in these children were collected and analyzed by SPSS.

Results: Twenty-one patients met the criteria for enrolment in the study. Sustained virological response (SVR) was seen in all patients (100%) at 24 weeks. Regarding adverse events in patients receiving daclatasavir plus sofosbuvir, nausea was seen in 33% followed by increased blood transfusion requirements in 22%, fatigue in 16%, headache in 11% and pancytopenia in one patient (5%). Patients receiving velpatasavir and sofosbuvir therapy, none of side effects were noted.

Conclusion: Ribavirin free DAAs are highly effective in thalassemic patients with hepatitis C and minimal adverse effects are observed especially in children receiving daclatasavir and sofosbuvir.

How to Cite
Alvi MA, Cheema HA, Saeed A, Batool S. Ribavirin free direct-acting antivirals in adolescents with hepatitis C and thalassemia. J Fatima Jinnah Med Univ [Internet]. 2Feb.2019 [cited 30Sep.2022];12(3). Available from: https://jfjmu.com/index.php/ojs/article/view/331