Hepatitis C: Get Tested and Treated Now to Prevent Problems Later | Page 2

BY MICHAEL R. PAGE, PHARMD, RPH
Long-term damage from the hepatitis C virus is avoidable if you are proactive in seeking help.
PUBLISHED WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2015
What to do now It is important to talk to your doctor about getting tested for HCV infection. Many people who have the infection do not know and will not know until it is too late—unless they get tested and treated. Newer treatments have a high success rate and are better tolerated and easier to use than the older therapies. Talking to your doctor about getting tested at your next check-up may help you or a loved one prevent serious health problems in the future.

References
  1. Centers for Disease Control. Hepatitis C. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/pdfs/hepcgeneralfactsheet.pdf. Accessed February 2015.
  2. Food and Drug Administration. Birnkrant D. Drug development guidelines for Hepatitis C virus. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/newsevents/ucm385395.htm. Accessed February 2015.
  3. Centers for Disease Control. Hepatitis C: Why Baby Boomers Should Get Tested. http://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/Media/PDFs/FactSheet-boomers.pdf. Accessed February 2015.
  4. AASLD/IDSA. Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C Downloaded from http://www.hcvguidelines.org Visit the. http://www.hcvguidelines.org/fullreport. Accessed February 2015.
  5. Smith BD, Morgan RL, Beckett GA, et al. Recommendations for the identification of chronic hepatitis C virus infection among persons born during 1945-1965. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2012;61(RR-4):1-32.
  6. COPEGUS (ribavirin) [package insert]. South San Francisco, CA: Genentech, Inc; 2013.
  7. PEGASYS (peginterferon alfa-2a) [package insert]. South San Francisco, CA: Genentech, Inc; 2014.
  8. HARVONI (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) tablets [package insert]. Foster City, CA: Gilead Sciences; 2014.
  9. VIEKIRA PAK (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir tablets; dasabuvir tablets) [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc; 2015.
  10. AIDSMED website. FDA Approves Olysio-Sovaldi Hep C Combo. http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Olysio_Sovaldi_approval_1667_26373.shtml. Accessed February 2015.
  11. Lawitz E, Sulkowski MS, Ghalib R, et al. Simeprevir plus sofosbuvir, with or without ribavirin, to treat chronic infection with hepatitis C virus genotype 1 in non-responders to pegylated interferon and ribavirin and treatment-naive patients: the COSMOS randomised study. Lancet. 2014;384(9956):1756-1765.
  12. Food and Drug Administration. Faster, Easier Cures for Hepatitis C. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm405642.htm. Accessed February 2015.
 

Table 1: Common Side Effects With All-Oral Direct-Acting Antivirals for Hepatitis C

Medication Common side effects of treatment alone When used with ribavirin
Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir tablets; dasabuvir) Nausea (16%), pruritus (13%) and insomnia (12%) Fatigue (34%), nausea (22%),

Pruritus (18%), skin reactions (16%), insomnia (14%), and asthenia (14%)
Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) Fatigue (16% to 18% depending on the length of therapy) and headache (11% to 17% depending on the length of therapy) Not applicable; not used with ribavirin
Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Olysio (simeprevir) Fatigue (31%), headache (20%), nausea (16%) Not applicable; not used with ribavirin
 

Adapted from references 8-11.

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