JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Management of mental health problems prior to and during treatment of hepatitis C virus infection in patients with drug addiction

Martin Schaefer, Rahul Sarkar, Crisanto Diez-Quevedo
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2013, 57 Suppl 2: S111-7
23884058
Psychiatric comorbidity is a common problem in patients with substance use disorders. Patients with psychiatric diseases and/or substance abuse have an increased risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Furthermore, psychiatric problems occur frequently during antiviral treatment and may be associated with the use of interferon alpha (IFN-α) but also with the primary psychiatric condition. As a consequence, substance abuse and/or acute psychiatric problems are still important reasons for nontreatment of chronic HCV infection. However, prospective and controlled data from recent years showed that if an interdisciplinary treatment is provided, patients with substance use disorders and/or psychiatric diseases do not differ regarding sustained virologic response or IFN-α-associated complications such as depression when compared with controls. Moreover, depression as the most important acute IFN-α-associated psychiatric adverse event can be acutely treated or even prevented by antidepressant pretreatment. Other, more rare but severe complications such as mania, psychotic symptoms, or delirium need individual psychiatric interventions.

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