Background & Aims: There is high proportion of geriatric patients who acquired chronic hepatitis C virus infection. There is a shortage in evidence- based data as regards direct-acting antivirals in this group of patients. The aim was to assess safety, efficacy, and tolerability of direct acting antiviral drugs in Egyptian geriatric patients.
Methods: This prospective study was performed on 177 patients with chronic hepatitis C and administrated different regimens of direct acting antivirals. Patients were divided into two groups: Group I: patients below 65 years old (N = 143), and Group II: patients > 65 years old (N = 34). Pretreatment history taking, baseline characteristics, and investigations were done for both groups. Follow up was made to detect treatment efficacy and adverse effects.
Results: Geriatric group were found to have more comorbidities (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy); also liver cirrhosis. Minor adverse effects occurred in both groups without significant difference included fatigue, insomnia, headache, and dizziness. Vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash occurred in group II more than group I. Leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, jaundice, and significant anemia occurred without significant difference between both groups. Eighteen patients (25%) of 72 patients who took ribavirin had to reduce ribavirin dose or to stop it. The overall treatment response in the entire study was 97.7% without significant difference between both groups.
Conclusion: Direct acting antivirals are recommended regardless the age. These drugs are effective and tolerable in elderly patients. Attention to other comorbidities, drug-drug interactions, and follow up are recommended.