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ABSTRACT: Clevudine has been approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in South Korea. However, its long-term antiviral effect and safety awaits more study. The aim of this study was to evaluate antiviral efficacy, predictors of virologic response, and development of myopathy after clevudine therapy for CHB. The study included 102 nucleoside naïve CHB patients who had received clevudine for more than 6 months with good compliance. The median duration of clevudine treatment was 53 weeks (range, 25-90 weeks). A retrospective analysis of data retrieved from medical records was performed. The cumulative rate of virologic response [hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA level <2000 copies/mL] at 48 weeks of clevudine therapy was 81%, and cumulative rate of clevudine resistance was 11% at 60 weeks of treatment. Independent predictors of virologic response to clevudine therapy were hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) negativity and rapid decrease of viral load during the early phase of treatment. The clevudine-related myopathy developed in 3.9% of patients, and was reversible after discontinuation of clevudine. Clevudine showed a potent antiviral response, and its effect was higher in HBeAg-negative patients, with rapid viral load reduction after therapy. However, long-term therapy for more than 1 year resulted in the development of considerable resistance and myopathy. Therefore, we should consider alternative antiviral agents if clevudine resistance or clevudine-induced myopathy is developed in patients on clevudine for the treatment of CHB.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 02/2010; 18(2):84-90. · 3.08 Impact Factor