Hepatitis C
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Articles by
Dr. Zhang
TCM and MCM Theory Related to Common Liver Disease Blood Test Markers

Low Dose Interferon Patient Experiment

Hepatitis A Prevention Reminder

Hepatitis: Causes of Pain in Liver Region 

The Need to Monitor Your Chronic Hepatitis

Liver Enzyme Fluctuation during Allergy Season 

What are the Serum Markers of Hepatitis B and What do They Mean?

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 2

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 1

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy -
Part 2

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy
Part 1

What Causes Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Cirrhotic Liver Disease

Dietary Support for Cirrhotic Liver Diseases

Ascites - A Complication of De-Compensated Liver Cirrhosis

Liver Cirrhosis - Portal Vein Hypertension Complications

Liver Cirrhosis Overview

PG-IFN and Ribavirin Treatments

Antibiotics and Chronic Liver Diseases

Why is Alcohol Harmful for People with Hepatitis?

Co-infections and Super-infections of Viral Hepatitis

Beware of Medications That Can Cause Liver Damage

Bile Retention and Its Clinical Manifestations (MCM) part 4

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Part 3 
Jaundice and Chronic Viral Hepatitis

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 2

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 1

What is Liver Fibrosis and How is It Different from Cirrhosis?

How does the liver change as we get older?

How is that my LFTs are so good when my viral load is seemly so high?

Comprehensive Care for Chronic Viral Hepatitis

What can Cause Liver Inflammation?  

What Are the Major Functions that the Liver Carries?


Small Dose Interferon Sublingual Dripping Plus Herbal Remedies -An Experimental Treatment for Chronic Viral Hepatitis, by Patients

(This article is about experimentation. Many of my patients have sought to improve the efficacy of their IFN based treatments by varying the rate and amount of intake. These changes were made with the cooperation of their physicians. Patients with chronic viral hepatitis should consult with their physician before any changes are made to their treatment protocol.)

Interferon is a cytokine, secreted by the lymph cells, a type of white blood cell. When a person is infected with a virus, the production of this particular cytokine increases and becomes an anti-viral weapon of the body. In addition, IFN also has extensive physiological and immunological effects. Pharmacological studies showed that interferon has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and anti-cancer effects. All of these effects are very useful in treating chronic viral hepatitis B and C. 

In patients with chronic viral hepatitis (HBV and HCV), the level of interferon (IFN) gradually becomes depleted. This is one of the reasons why an acute infection develops into a chronic infection. Thus, supplementing the body with IFN to enhance its anti-viral defense is the main therapeutic method of conventional medicine. IFN-based treatments are now available in different several forms: alfa-IFN solo-therapy, Infergen (Interferon alfacon-1), IFN plus ribavirin combination therapy, Peg-intron (Peginterferon Alfa-2b) plus ribavirin, and Pegysis plus ribavirin combination therapies.

Currently, the approximate efficacy rate for sustained response to IFN based treatments is about 50%. That means about half of patients treated with these methods reach a viral load of undetectable status six months after the treatment has finished. The response rate is largely dependent on the genotype of the HCV, stage of progression, age, and sex of the patient. The most common genotype, 1a or 1b has the smallest response rate: around 35%. For genotypes 2 or 3, the response rate is around 66%.

Newer versions if IFN, such as peg-IFN, is improving the response rate. However, the side effects can still be quite serious and hard to tolerate. The side effects are mainly caused by the size of the dose. When alpha-IFN was used as a mono-therapy or combine with ribavirin as a combination therapy, the dosage was 3 million units, three intra-muscular injections per week.  With Peg-intron and Pegysis, the once-a-week injection dose remained at 3 million units, the only difference being the frequency of intake was reduced to once a week. The purpose was to release the Peg-IFN slowly overtime. The main problem again, was the large size of the dose, which continued to cause intolerable side-effects for many patients. Many of these patients suggested using lower and more frequent doses to their doctors and some agreed to the experiment.

The description below is a report of the progress these patients have made. It is purely for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical advise.

With the cooperation of their respective physicians, the daily dose starts from 300,000 units (1/10 of the one injection dose in the evening) and slowly builds the tolerance level to eventually reach 600,000 units (one dose in the evening and one in the morning).

The old version of IFN is in a solution form, packed in a vial that contains the 3 million units in 0.5 cc volume. It was divided into 10 drops, one drop contained 300,000 units of the IFN or 1/10 of the original dose.

To start, patients took one drop sublingually per day. They dripped it under the tongue and kept it there for at least one minute without swallowing. The mucus membrane of the mouth absorbed the IFN into the blood stream directly. The saliva did not destroy it because saliva does not contain any protease. The dripping was done in the evening, before bed. After a few weeks, the body built a tolerance and doses were gradually increased to 600,000 units of IFN. At this stage, most of the patients did not experience any side effects of IFN. Only a few people found that after the dripping, they felt slightly discomfort in the local mucus membrane area along with some congestion.

For Pegintron, or Pegysis IFN, both are in powder form. People are experimenting to divide the one dose powder into 10 small parts. Every day, one part of the powder is placed under the tongue. With these methods, people are getting the benefits from IFN without experiencing side effects.

The clinical results

First, almost every patient saw their ALT, and AST dramatically improved or normalized.
Second, viral load dramatically reduced.  Total eradication is still not feasible for many patients but the results showed reduced liver inflammation and viral replication. 

Third, very few side-effects relative to conventional large-dose IFN treatment.

If used with herbal remedies, there was dramatic overall improvement of symptoms. Patients who were not able to tolerate IFN before were able to do so and reap some of the benefits.

The results have been positive and I do encourage patients with work with their liver specialist to find the best treatment route, using variations of conventional techniques.

Please keep in mind, this is a self-designed patient experimentation. There was no placebo-controlled, randomized, double blinded tests to support its validity.

However, I do think that this method is rational and the overall clinical results have been encouraging.




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About HCV
Causes and Transmission

Diagnostic Tests
Viral Load

Viral Genotyping

Major Signs
Liver Inflammation

Peripheral Signs and Symptoms
Bile Retention
Joint Pains and Skin Rashes
Blood Sugar Instability
Portal Vein Hypertension

Important Liver Function Test Markers
PT (Prothrombin Time)
Liver Biopsy
Inflammation Grade
Fibrosis Stage
Interferon Based Treatment
Ideal Candidate
Possible Side-effects
Liver Support with TCM
Liver Enzymes
Serum Albumin
Blood Clotting Factors
Bile metabolism
Dietary Considerations
Essential Fats




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