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Category: Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C

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What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a virus that causes a liver infection that can cause inflammation in the liver and can further turn into cancer or liver failure. There are various treatments available for Hepatitis C that help avoid complications and further risk to health. Most often a medication treatment is recommended when the symptoms are present in a person. There are multiple types of drugs used for the treatment of Hepatitis C and the main purpose of them is to remove symptoms and support a healthy functioning in the body.

Ribavirin

Ribavirin is an oral medication used to treat Hepatitis C, it helps to stop the virus spreading inside the body. It mainly works by blocking the replication process of the virus. The drug is made in the capsule, liquid, and tablet forms. Every form has a different potency and strength, and are prescribed by a doctor to fit to the patient’s condition and health history.

Some brands that offer Ribavirin are:

  • Ribasphere
  • Moderiba
  • Copegus
  • Rebetol

Ribavirin can cause birth defects and are therefore not recommended for people trying to conceive. Most of the side effects are temporary and can go away on their own, but if they’re persistent and severe then it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately.

Severe side effects of Ribavirin are:

  • Muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss or cognitive issue
  • Nausea or vomiting

Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)

Direct-acting antivirals are the most effective and direct treatment drugs for Hepatitis C. They work efficiently to fight the virus directly and stop its spread inside the body and limit further complications. Moreover, it will not allow the infection to disturb other bodily functions. Compared to other Hepatitis C drugs, it does not have severe side effects.

Some common but mild side effects are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slow heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

Most of the side effects of DAAs go away on their own without intervention after a short period of time.

Protease Inhibitor Antiviral Medications (NS3/4A inhibitors)

The Protease Inhibitor belongs to Antiviral medication group that are used to treat the Hepatitis C virus. It helps to stop the virus spread and block the multiplication in the body. It’s recommended to use this drug in combination with the other treatments for hepatitis C. Some commonly used Protease Inhibitor Antiviral drugs are:

  • Paritaprevir
  • Simeprevir
  • Grazoprevir

Protease Inhibitors (NS5A inhibitors)

Protease inhibitors are an effective drug options with multiple functions. It helps the treatment process of Hepatitis C by stopping the virus multiplication. Moreover, it will trigger the effectiveness of other medicines to work properly. Health care providers suggest it in combination with other drugs if any of the Hepatitis C drugs fail to work properly.

Some Protease Inhibitors are as follows:

  • Ledipasvir
  • Ombitasvir
  • Elbasvir
  • Daclatasvir

Nucleotide/nucleoside and Nonnucleoside Polymerase Inhibitors (NS5B inhibitors)

The virus of Hepatitis C needs the protein NS5B to survive and to start the multiplication process inside the body. With the use of an NS5B inhibitor, it is easier to block the protein and stop the replication of the virus. Sofosbuvir and Dasabuvir are known inhibitors used to block the proteins.

Combination drugs

Combination drugs are effective to treat Hepatitis C infection. Some popular combination drugs are:

  • Zepatier
  • Harvoni
  • Viekira Pak
  • Vosevi
  • Mavyret

Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni)

Harvoni is a drug used for the treatment of Hepatitis C and contains the components Ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir. It is one of the approved drugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C.

Dasabuvir-ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir (Viekira Pak)

Viekira Pak is another approved drug for the treatment of Hepatitis C, it contains Dasabuvir, Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir, and Ritonavir. The prescription of this drug is as per the patient’s condition level.

Elbasvir-grazoprevir (Zepatier)

Zepatier is a drug consisting of Elbasvir and Grazoprevir and it is an approved medication for the Hepatitis C genotype 1 and 4 treatment.

Ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir (Technivie)

Technivie is approved to treat the Hepatitis C genotype 4 only.

Sofosbuvir-velpatasvir (Epclusa)

Epclusa is a combination drug that has Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir. Epclusa is the first on the list of treatments used to treat almost all types of Hepatitis C.

Sofosbuvir-velpatasvir-voxilaprevir (Vosevi)

Vosevi is an improved formula with Sofosbuvir, Velpatasvir, and Voxilaprevir. It is an effective drug for the treatment of all Hepatitis C types.

Glecaprevir-pibrentasvir (Mavyret)

Mavyret is another FDA approved drug for the treatment of almost all genotypes of Hepatitis C virus. It contains Glecaprevir and Pibrentasvir.

Interferons

Interferons refer to the protein that is usually found inside the immune system and they help to fight against virus replication. It is a common and an old treatment of Hepatitis C. However, Interferons have many side effects that may limit their usage.

Some side effects caused by interferons are:

  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Trigger the Hepatitis symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Dryness in mouth
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Reduction in red blood cells
  • Change in vision
  • Liver problem
  • Lungs issues
  • Inactive thyroid
  • High blood pressure

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