Hepatitis C Medications and Treatment Response Terms
- After starting therapy: When a person becomes HCV RNA undetectable after starting therapy, this is called a virological response.
- Week 4: Undetectable HCV RNA at treatment week 4 is known as rapid virological response (RVR).
- Week 12: Early virological response, measured at treatment week 12, may be either complete (cEVR) if HCV RNA is undetectable, or partial (EVR) if viral load has decreased by at least 2 logs but is still detectable (2-log drop is 1,000,000 to 10,000).
- Week 4 and 12: Undetectable HCV RNA at both treatment week 4 and week 12 is known as an extended rapid virological response (eRVR).
- End of treatment: Undetectable viral load at the end of a course of therapy is called end-of-treatment (EOT) response.
- 12 – 24 weeks post treatment: If HCV RNA remains undetectable 12 to 24 weeks after completing treatment this is called a sustained virological response (SVR), which is considered a viral cure.
- Interferon, given by injection, is a genetically engineered product based on natural immune system proteins found in the body.
- Pegylated interferon is a long-acting form of interferon that can be injected once, rather than three times, per week. It maintains a more constant level of interferon in the blood and is better able to reduce HCV replication.
- Ribavirin is an oral antiviral medication used in combination with interferon to treat hepatitis C. Ribavirin alone is not effective against HCV, but helps prevent relapse after stopping interferon.
- HCV inhibitors, also called direct acting antivirals (DAAs), are approved to treat chronic hepatitis C.
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