Hepatitis C - Treatment and Medications

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What methods of treatment, including medication, have you received for hepatitis C?

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What medications cure hepatitis C infection?

Interferons and pegylated interferons such as Peg-Intron A, Pegasys, Roferon, and Infergen, were mainstays of treatment for years and produced sustained viral response (SVR, or cure) of up to 50%-80%. These drugs were injected, had many adverse effects, required frequent monitoring, and were often combined with oral ribavirin, which caused anemia. Treatment durations ranged up to 48 weeks.

Direct-acting agents (DAA) are antiviral drugs that act directly on hepatitis C multiplication.

  • They are taken by mouth, are well-tolerated, and cure over 90% of patients.
  • Treatment time is much shorter.
  • The earliest options were sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and simeprevir (Olysio). These were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013.
  • Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (Harvoni) followed as a once-a-day combination pill, in 2014.
  • With this combination of DAAs, about 94%-99% of people achieve an SVR (cure) in 12 weeks with few side effects.
  • Ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir co-packaged with dasabuvir tablets (Viekira Pak), is a combination approved in 2014. SVR with this combination is 91%-100%. The combination of elbasvir and grazoprevir (Zepatier) was approved in 2016. SVR with this combination depends on the HCV genotype and whether individual patient factors require the addition of ribavirin. Genotype 1 has a 94%-97% SVR, and SVR is 97%-100% in genotype 4.
Return to Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)

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Comment from: brooke, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

I contacted hepatitis C in my early 20s through blood transfusions. At first I was really sick, but didn't know anything about hepatitis C. My stomach was in pain and I couldn't get around. I had a son. The symptoms disappeared then, followed by about 40 years of relative good health. I had fairly good eating habits except for chocolate and sugar (addictions) and caffeine (I didn't start drinking coffee until my 50s). Then I went to China for three years to work and when I returned and got a checkup, which I had not done in many years, my levels were almost 6 million. I took off on the Pacific Crest Trail across Oregon, for the second year with my good friend, and I think that really helped mentally, but the food wasn't the best. However, I have extremely bad acid reflux and choking on my food, rashes on my legs, and puffy places on my ankles. I am exhausted and weak and that depresses me since I am a really active person. My son has bought me the Dr. Schulze detox program and I have been doing this for 2 weeks. I believe that it will kick it. I am 62, I have 7 kids and 11 grandkids. Hang in there you all, there is no power greater than faith and love, so let us stick together. I will soon find out if I can take the new drug that everyone says is so great. I will do whatever I can to regain my physical freedom.

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Comment from: MOMMA T, Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I was diagnosed with hepatitis C genotype 1A with stage 4 liver cirrhosis. My viral load was 500,000 plus, which is not good either. I was told I had hepatitis C. Let me tell you, it devastated me to say the least. What I did find out is that there is treatment out there with a 96 to 100 percent cure rate. I am not talking about a temporary fix to this disease, but a permanent cure. It is very expensive but with my gastroenterologist, primary doctor and pharmacy all pulling for me, I was able to get the medicines and funding for what insurance didn't cover, and I was out a total of USD 5.00 for each medicine I take. This is a huge savings of approximately USD 33,000 per month. So, there is a medicine out there, yes. It is called Harvoni. It does work, and I have very little side-effects so far. I have been taking it for about 2 weeks now and looking forward to my first 4 week bloodwork to see how much it has dropped on my viral load. Don't give up, to any and all of you fighting this horrible disease.

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