- What is Zepatier, and how does it work?
- What are the uses for Zepatier?
- What are the side effects of Zepatier?
- What is the dosage for Zepatier?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with Zepatier?
- Is Zepatier safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should you know about Zepatier?
What is Zepatier, and how does it work?
Zepatier is an oral tablet containing two drugs used for the treatment of chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), genotype 1 and 4 in adults. The components belong to a class of drugs called direct-acting antiviral agents. Similar drugs include:
- boceprevir (Victrelis)
- sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)
- simeprevir (Olysio)
- telaprevir (Incivek),
- Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, dasabuvir)
- ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (Harvoni)
Zepatier contains elbasvir and grazoprevir. Elbasvir directly blocks replication of HCV by interfering with a hepatitis C virus enzyme called NS5A. Grazoprevir is an inhibitor of another hepatitis C virus enzyme called NS3/4A, which also is needed for viral replication. Both drugs in Zepatier interfere with enzymes needed by hepatitis C virus to multiply and make new viruses, thus reducing the overall viral load. The efficacy of Zepatier has been established in subjects with hepatitis C virus genotypes 1 and 4.
Zepatier may be administered with or without ribavirin. In clinical studies, 95% of patients who were not previously treated for their hepatitis C virus were cured after 12 weeks of Zepatier treatment. Cure was defined as undetectable levels of hepatitis C virus in the blood when measured three months after the completion of treatment. The FDA approved Zepatier in January, 2016.
What are the uses for Zepatier?
- Zepatier is used with or without ribavirin (Rebetrol) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) types 1 or 4 infection in adults.
What are the side effects of Zepatier?
Common side effects include:
Other side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Anemia (when combined with ribavirin)
- Elevations in levels of liver enzymes
- Increased bilirubin
- Joint pain
- Shortness of breath
- Reactivation of hepatitis B virus infection (HBV)
What is the dosage for Zepatier?
- The recommended dose of Zepatier is one tablet daily with or without food for 12 to 16 weeks.
- The duration of treatment depends on whether patients have been previously treated with ribavirin and interferon for their HCV, the presence or absence of treatment-resistant HCV, and the type of HCV infection. Patients should be tested for the presence of resistant HCV prior to starting treatment to determine the correct dosage and duration of treatment.
- The recommended duration of treatment for most patients is 12 weeks. Those who fall into the following two categories are treated for 16 weeks:
- People with genotype 1a infection, treatment-naive or previously treated with peginterferon and ribavirin, and have resistant viruses: 16 weeks treatment.
- People with genotype 4 infection and previously treated with peginterferon (Pegasys) and ribavirin: 16 weeks treatment.
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Which drugs or supplements interact with Zepatier?
Zepatier has many drug interactions, for example:
Rifampin and St. John's wort may reduce blood levels of Zepatier by increasing its metabolism (break-down) in the intestine. Therefore, Zepatier should not be combined with rifampin or St. John's wort. Other drugs that also may reduce blood levels of Zepatier include:
- nafcillin (Nafcil)
- bosentan (Tracleer)
- carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol)
- phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125)
- phenobarbital, oxcarbazepine (Tripetal)
- rifampin, tipranavir (Aptivus)
- ritonavir (Norvir)
- efavirenz (Sustiva)
- atazanavir (Reyataz)
- darunavir (Prezista)
- lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
- saquinavir (Invirase)
- etravirine (Intelence)
- modafanil (Provigil)
Combining Zepatier with cyclosporine or ketoconazole may increase the risk of liver enzyme elevations because cyclosporine increases blood levels of grazoprevir. Zepatier should not be combined with cyclosporine.
Zepatier increases blood levels of atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), and possibly other statins. The dose of atorvastatin should not exceed a daily dose of 20 mg and the dose of Crestor should not exceed 10 mg daily when they are combined with Zepatier.
Is Zepatier safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- Zepatier has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. However, ribavirin which may be combined with this drug should not be used by pregnant women or their male partners.
- It is not known whether this drug is secreted into breast milk.
What else should you know about Zepatier?
What preparations of Zepatier are available?
- Tablets (elabsvir and grazoprevir): 50/100 mg
How should I keep Zepatier stored?
- This drug should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
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Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) is a combination of two drugs prescribed as one medication that cures some forms of the otherwise incurable hepatitis C virus. Though the drug has several side effects, for example diarrhea. Ninety-five percent of patients in a clinical trial were still virus-free three months after treatment. The drug works, in part, by attacking the ability of the hepatitis C virus to replicate.
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Liver (Anatomy and Function)
The liver is the largest gland and organ in the body. There are a variety of liver diseases caused by liver inflammation, scarring of the liver, infection of the liver, gallstones, cancer, toxins, genetic diseases, and blood flow problems. Symptoms of liver disease generally do not occur until the liver disease is advanced. Some symptoms of liver disease include jaundice, nausea and vomiting, easy bruising, bleeding excessively, fatigue, weakness, weight loss, shortness of breath, leg swelling, impotence, and confusion. Treatment of diseases of the liver depends on the cause.
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or another virus (such as those that cause infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus disease). The main nonviral causes of hepatitis are alcohol and drugs. Many patients infected with hepatitis A, B, and C have few or no symptoms of illness. For those who do develop symptoms of viral hepatitis, the most common are flu-like symptoms including: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, weakness, tiredness, and aching in the abdomen. Treatment of viral hepatitis is dependent on the type of hepatitis.
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks, especially with intravenous drug abuse. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fever. Chronic hepatitis C may be cured in most individuals with drugs that target specific genomes of hepatitis C.
Is Hepatitis Contagious?
Hepatitis means "inflammation of the liver," and there are several different types of such as A, B, C, D, and E. Some types of hepatitis are contagious and some types are not. Hepatitis symptoms vary upon the type of disease; however, the following symptoms may develop in someone with hepatitis: fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), and loss of appetite. Treatment for hepatitis depends upon the cause. Some types of hepatitis have a vaccine to prevent spread of disease such as hepatitis A and B.
Is Hepatitis C Contagious?
Hepatitis C or hep C causes acute and chronic liver disease. Hep C is a form of liver disease with symptoms like fatigue, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, anorexia, and abdominal discomfort. Hepatitis C is a contagious viral infection caused by people sharing drug needles, surgical instruments that have not been properly sanitized, and organ transplantation.
Hepatitis C Cure (Symptoms, Transmission, Treatments, and Cost)
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are a variety of toxins, diseases, illicit drugs, medications, bacterial and viral infections, and heavy alcohol use can case inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) is one type of hepatitis. According to the CDC, in 2014 there were an estimated 30,500 cases of acute hepatitis C infections in the US. An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the US have chronic hepatitis C. The virus is spread from person-to-person via blood-to-blood contact. Symptoms of HCV infection include joint pain, jaundice, dark urine, nausea, fatigue, fever, loss of appetites, clay colored stool. Hepatitis C can be cured with medications in most people. There is no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus.
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