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- Interferon, given by injection, is a genetically engineered product based on natural immune system proteins found in the body. No longer part of hepatitis C treatment.
- 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. No longer part of hepatitis C treatment.
- Ribavirin is an oral antiviral medication used in combination with interferon and HCV inhibitors to treat hepatitis C. Ribavirin alone is not effective against HCV but helps to enhance the antiviral effects of treatment. Rarely used in combination with HCV treatment.
- Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) also called HCV inhibitors, are approved to treat chronic hepatitis C.
- The current standard of care is a combination of HCV direct-acting antiviral medications.
Treatment Response Terms and Monitoring
- Before and during treatment: A viral load test (also called HCV RNA) will be given before the start of therapy and may be given at certain time points during and after therapy.
- Additional tests: Additional blood work is given during treatment to monitor the health of the person undergoing treatment.
- End of treatment: Undetectable viral load at the end of a course of therapy is called end-of-treatment (EOT) response.
- 12 weeks post-treatment: If HCV RNA remains undetectable 12 weeks after completing treatment this is called a sustained virological response (SVR), which is considered a viral cure.
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