Hepatitis C or HCV (often simply called hepatitis C) kills 350,000 people each year. Most deaths are caused by cirrhosis (irreversible and catastrophic liver scarring) and liver cancer. HCV affects an estimated 130 to 170 million people worldwide. There is no vaccine that protects against acquiring hepatitis C, but the new drugs have been developed that provide a cure for most cases.
In the past, the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C was antiviral therapy that combines pegylated interferon and ribavirin, sometimes called therapy with PEG / Riba. Patients were also advised to abstain from alcohol, which is believed to cause HCV to multiply in the liver. This treatment reduced the viral load, but the disease is considered incurable. In addition, interferon can not be used by all patients, and their side effects can be life threatening.
Then the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a trio of new drugs. These drugs can treat hepatitis C in patients infected more according to the particular genotype of HCV present. These drugs are revolutionary Olysio, Sovaldi, and Harvoni. Of these, Simeprevir (Olysio) and sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) are the most effective.
Simeprevir is one of a class of drugs called protease inhibitors. They block a specific protein needed by HCV in order to replicate. Simeprevir is approved to treat HCV genotype 1. It is taken once a day for 12 weeks with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, followed by 12 to 36 weeks of therapy with PEG / Riba. It has been shown to cure hepatitis C for 80 percent of the time, according to a 2014 article in British Medical Journal.
sofosbuvir is one of a class of drugs called polymerase inhibitors, which block another protein produced by HCV. Sofosbuvir is approved for the treatment of genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4. According to British Medical Journal , which has a cure rate of over 90 percent. Most importantly, it provides a cure without the need for injections interferon in some patients.
The protocol for sofosbuvir is:
with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for 12 weeks for the treatment of genotypes 1 and 4
with ribavirin for 12 weeks for the treatment of genotypes 2
With ribavirin for 24 weeks to treat genotype 3
With ribavirin for 24 weeks to treat genotype 1, if a patient can not take interferon
Haryoni was approved by the FDA in 2014 . it is a combination of drugs that includes sofosbuvir and ledipasvir. Haryoni has been studied in three clinical trials involving more than 1,500 participants. At least 90 percent of subjects who took Harvoni achieved SVR. Some had been treated for just eight weeks.
In late 2014, the FDA approved another treatment that was free of interferon, Viekira Pak. This combination of ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir tablets, combined with dasabuvir tablets, is hepatitis C genotype 1 is given by 12 to 24 weeks, and has been shown that over 95 percent effective, according to a report in New England Journal of Medicine. The Viekira Pak can not be used by patients in an advanced stage of liver disease.
A patient cured of the disease, if they demonstrate a sustained virologic response (SVR), ie, HCV viral load is undetectable six months after treatment. In rare cases, some of the virus can survive and replicate, even after a patient reaches the SVR. Furthermore, recovering from hepatitis C does not immune patient. You can return to the disease with a second exposure.
Finally, although patients can now be cured of HCV, if the liver of a person is in danger of failing, he or she may require a transplant to fully recover.