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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Deciding on a Treatment Plan

for Veterans and the Public

What treatments are effective? - Hepatitis C for Patients

The regimens that exist currently for hepatitis C include the following:

  • Pegylated interferon and ribavirin
  • Pegylated interferon and ribavirin PLUS either boceprevir or telaprevir
  • Sofosbuvir plus pegylated interferon plus ribavirin
  • Sofosbuvir plus ribavirin
  • Simeprevir plus pegylated interferon plus ribavirin
  • Sosofbuvir plus simeprevir--with or without ribavirin

You will be given a treatment regimen based in large part on your genotype, your subtype (for example, 1a or 1b), your treatment history (whether you were ever treated before), your stage of liver disease (if you have cirrhosis or do not have cirrhosis) and any other medical issues which may be related to the choice of drug.

Interferon

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

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 can only be taken for Genotype 1 infection. 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.

Sofosbuvir

Sofosbuvir is an antiviral drug. It works directly on the hepatitis C virus itself to stop it from replicating. It can be taken with any genotype of hepatitis C. It can be taken for HIV-HCV coinfection. This drug can be taken either with or without interferon--and can be combined with simeprevir, another antiviral. In clinical trials, sofobovur is also being studied in combination with other antivirals. Sofosbuvir can never be taken alone.

Simeprevir

Simeprevir is an antiviral drug. It works directly on the hepatitis C virus itself to stop it from replicating. It can only be taken for genotype 1 infection. It can be taken with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. It can also be taken with sofosbuvir--though this combination is not FDA approved currently. When taken with sofosbuvir, there is no interferon used.