for Veterans and the Public
What treatments are effective?
There are two main types of treatment regimens for hepatitis C:
- Dual therapy: pegylated interferon and ribavirin
- Triple therapy: pegylated interferon and ribavirin PLUS either boceprevir or telaprevir
You will be given a treatment regimen based in large part on your genotype. Genotype refers to the "strain" of hepatitis C virus that a person has. There are six genotypes. In the United States, genotype 1 is the most common, followed by genotype 2 and 3.
- People with genotype 1 generally are given triple therapy.
- People with genotype 2 and 3 are given dual therapy.
Interferon is a medicine that helps your body's immune system to attack infected liver cells and to protect healthy liver cells from new infection. Pegylated interferon is taken by injection once a week.
Ribavirin is a medicine that can fight certain viruses, though, by itself, it does not work against hepatitis C. It is taken in pill form and in combination with pegylated interferon.
Boceprevir and telaprevir
Telaprevir and boceprevir are anti-viral drugs. They work directly on the hepatitis C virus itself to stop it from replicating. These drugs cannot be used together, and they each must be taken in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.