Interferon Therapy Can Cause Depression

Interferon-alpha -- which is used to treat adult leukemia, certain kidney cancers, the skin cancer melanoma, and hepatitis B and C -- may cause depression and other side effects, researchers report. Common side effects associated with IFN-a (interferon-alpha) therapy include depression, paresthesia (changes in sensation), impaired concentration, amnesia, confusion, and anxiety.

The primary factor that may lead to such side effects is length of treatment with IFN-a, while dosage, the way IFN-a is administered, prior brain radiation, and a history of psychiatric illness may also increase risk.

Seminars in Oncology (1998;25:39-47)

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Interferon is commonly promoted as a "natural" treatment. Even though it is made by the body, it has been my experience that when you force feed the body it can frequently backfire and result in the symptoms mentioned above. There are much better options for hepatitis than interferon, such as traditional Chinese herbs and acupuncture.

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