Long-term lamivudine therapy led to hepatitis B surface antigen loss in patients with chronic hepatitis B, according to recent findings published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Lamivudine was found to have good activity, lowering HBV DNA levels in virtually all patients with subsequent improvements in serum enzyme levels and hepatic histology,” Shilpa Lingala, MD, clinical fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NIH at the time of study publication. “A major shortcoming, however, was the development of anti-viral resistance after which HBV DNA levels generally rose and the biochemical and histological features worsened.”
Long-term lamivudine therapy is associated with clearance of hepatitis B surface antigen, the researchers wrote. However, it remains unclear how long patients should be treated and what criteria should be used to stop therapy.