Chronic Hepatitis C is one of the leading cause of chronic liver disease globally. The past two decades have seen many advances in Hepatitis C treatment. Despite these advances side effects of treatment are common. Hematological complications of treatments can result in treatment cessation and suboptimal results We observed the development of haematological side effects chiefly anaemia and its effect on SVR in a cohort of 240 patients. The mean Haemoglobin at baseline was 13.2 gm, range 10.9-16, SD=0.8. At 6 months the mean Haemoglobin was 10.6 gm (7-11gm) SD=0.7. Clinically significant anaemia defined as haemoglobin of less than 10 gm/dl occurred in 56 % (n=134) of patients. Out of these 36% (n=48) were males and 64% (n=86) were females. More than 69 % of the total cohort (n=165 pts) experienced a drop of Hb of ≥ 3 gm/dl. Hemoglobin decreased by 2.8 gm at week 4 in 44% of patients and by 3.5 gm in 25% of patients at 3 months. A decrement in Hb of upto 2.9% was seen at the end of 6 months of treatment.The P value is < 0.05, this difference is considered to be statistically significant. Overall SVR was 71%. SVR rates in those who developed anaemia was 76% and in those who did not develop anaemia was 68%. The P value equals 0.5, this difference is considered to be not statistically significant. Anaemia is a frequent complication of interferon and ribavirin treatment for chronic hepatitis C and needs management with dose reduction and erythropoietin to optimize SVR. Erythropoietic agents are effective in treating anemia, preventing ribavirin dose reduction and improving patient’s quality of life.

Keywords : Chronic Hepatitis C, Anaemia, Ribavirin.