Treatment of Hepatitis C

Section Eight

Treatment of Hepatitis C

Conventional interferon alfa, pegylated interferon alfa, ribavirin, and several HCV inhibitors (also called Direct Acting Antivirals —DAA’s) are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hepatitis C.

Interferon works by stimulating the immune system and protecting cells. Ribavirin works to enhance the antiviral effects of treatment. HCV inhibitors or DAAs work by preventing the virus from replicating (making copies of itself).

The current standard of care treatments for chronic hepatitis C include:

  • Genotype 1:
    • Harvoni (sofosbuvir plus ledipasvir) combined into one pill; taken once-a-day. Treatment duration is 8, 12 or 24 weeks. Cure rates are up to 100%.
    • Viekira Pak (Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir/ritonavir, dasabuvir) with and without ribavirin). Viekira Pak is taken twice daily. Ribavirin is taken twice daily. Treatment duration is 12 or 24 weeks. Cure rates are up to 100%.
  • Genotype 4: Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is taken in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Treatment duration is 12 weeks. Cure rates were up to 96%.
  • Genotype 2: Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is taken with ribavirin. Treatment duration is 12 weeks. The cure rates were up to 100%.
  • Genotype 3: Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is taken with ribavirin. Treatment duration is 24 weeks. The cure rates were up to 93%.

Note: There has been less research, yielding mixed data, on patients with genotypes 5 and 6.

warning

Note: It is important to notify your medical provider if you are taking any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. These drugs could affect how the HCV medications work.  

Ribavirin Warning: Ribavirin has been shown to cause birth defects and miscarriages. Women of childbearing age, their male partners, and female partners of male patients taking ribavirin must use at least two forms of effective contraception during treatment and during the six-month post-treatment follow-up period. A woman should have a pregnancy test at certain time points during therapy.

 

Self-help Tip:

  • Your doctor or nurse will give you instructions on how to take the medications
  • If you miss a dose of medicine your medical provider will give you instructions on when to take the next dose
  • Always check in with your medical provider if you have any questions about treatment

 

GET TESTED.  GET TREATED.  GET CURED.

Next: Treatment Considerations

 

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