The therapeutic efficacy of recombinant interferon-α (rIFN-α) has been evaluated in 7 patients with polycythaemia vera (PV), diagnosed according to the criteria of the Polycythemia Vera Study Group. Six complete responses and one partial response were achieved. Pruritus significantly improved in 80% (4/5) of the cases. Recombinant interferon-α had to be discontinued in 1 patient because of grade 3–4 nephrotoxicity according to WHO criteria. rIFN-α therapy significantly decreased the phlebotomy requirements and improved the mean corpuscular volume, erythrocyte and platelet counts, pruritus complaints and the degree of splenomegaly (p < 0.05). rIFN-α seems to be an effective treatment modality for the myeloproliferation of PV and pruritus complaints.