Author(s): Yassari Mohsine1,2* , Mouhadi Khalid6 , Aarab Chadya1,2, Aalouane Rachid1,2, Boujraf Said2,3, Aqodad Norreddine4, Lemieux Andrine M5, Ibrahimi Sidi Adil4 and Rammouz Ismail1,2
Background: The hepatitis C treatment is based on a combination of pegylated interferon alpha (IFN Peg) and Ribavirin. However, this treatment causes many side effects including psychiatric disorders. The aim of study is to evaluate the depressive symptoms, anxiety and risk factors for psychiatric symptoms in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) treated with combined pegylated interferon alpha and Ribavirin (PEG-IFN- α + RBV) in a Moroccan patient sample. Methods: This prospective, descriptive and analytical study followed 30 patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) treated with combination therapy with pegylated interferon alpha with Ribavirin (PEG-IFNα + RBV) for one year. All but one of the patients were infected through blood transfusion. Our patients were evaluated by a standardized interview and psychological instruments in the first, third, sixth and twelfth months of treatment. Results: The average age of patients was 57.03 years old, with a slight female predominance. Depressive symptoms were found in 36.6%, with a maximum rate found in the first month of treatment. The incidence of anxiety peaked at three months and generalized anxiety was diagnosed in 15% of the patients. Major depressive disorder with suicidal ideation resulted in arresting the interferon therapy in 2 patients. Regression analysis failed to identify any risk factors of psychiatric disorders induced by IFN. Conclusion: The clinical psychiatric symptoms occurring in with PEG-IFN-α treatment are atypical and the time course varies per disorder. These findings support the recommendation that complete care of HCV patients treated with IFN requires a multidisciplinary collaboration.