1Pharmacy Clinical Services Outpatient, 23240JPS Health Network, Fort Worth, TX, USA.
2Office of Clinical Research, 23240JPS Health Network, Fort Worth, TX, USA.
Background: Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have revolutionized treatment for HCV. Compared to interferon-based therapies, DAAs achieve higher rates of sustained virologic response, with more tolerable side effects. Nonetheless, interferon-based therapies have the potential to cause weight loss, and literature documenting the impact of DAAs on weight is limited. Appetite suppression may occur with chronic HCV. It is plausible that DAAs may indirectly cause weight gain given their ability to cause rapid virologic suppression, leading to improved hepatic function.
Methods: A retrospective chart review identified 220 patients who initiated DAA therapy between 1 February 2019, and 29 February 2020. Patients 18 years and older who completed therapy with a DAA were included in the study if they had a documented initial weight (weight on the day therapy was initiated) and final weight (weight 12 weeks after therapy completion). Change in weight was assessed as the primary outcome. Comorbidities with the potential to impact weight were assessed as confounders.
Results: Multiple variables were analyzed and baseline BMI was the only factor that influenced a change in weight (P = 0.016). Patients with a higher BMI at baseline experienced statistically significant weight gain. Weight was increased by 0.14 kg per unit of BMI (95% CI: 0.026, 0.25). Patient demographics relating to age and gender, progression of cirrhosis and concurrent comorbidities had no statistically significant impact on change in weight.
Conclusion: Weight changes after treatment with a DAA may be related to the individual's weight prior to treatment.