Hepatitis C is a viral infection that targets the liver, resulting in complications such as liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer in severe cases. Thankfully, there has been substantial progress in the way hepatitis C is treated over the past few years, and the new hepatitis C treatments can nearly eliminate the virus within three months.
Here are the newest forms of hepatitis C treatments that have broken new ground.
Harvoni — Harvoni is an FDA-approved chronic hepatitis C medication composed of two drugs called ledipasvir and sofosbuvir. The medication is taken daily and highly effective in curing hepatitis C. However, Harvoni is quite costly so it is not an option for every patient. The side effects of the drug include nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and fatigue.
Ribavirin — Ribavirin is typically taken twice per day with a combination of other hepatitis C drugs and can be used by both adults and kids. As ribavirin comes with an increased risk of heart attack, people with heart disease cannot go on ribavirin.
Ribavirin can also result in anemia, so people who are anemic can only take the medication in small doses. Some common side effects ribavirin is associated with include headaches, muscle pain, stomach pain, nausea, anxiety, coughing, drowsiness, fatigue, and fever.
Daklinza — This new medication is used for hepatitis C with genotype 3 in combination with Sovaldi and can stop the life cycle of hep C at any stage. This combination of drugs is taken for three months once per day, but if there is considerable liver damage or cirrhosis, a drug called ribavirin can also be added to the daily regimen. The side effects that Daklinza most commonly causes are fatigue and headaches.
Your doctor will be able to determine which new hepatitis C treatment is the right option for your specific case depending on your risk factors and the condition of your liver and will combine a new treatment with a traditional medication if needed to increase the efficacy.
Featured Image: Depositphotos/© tashatuvango