Why Are The New Hepatitis C Treatments Better
The new treatments are highly effective with a cure rate of 95-97 per cent. Treatment time is reduced to 12 weeks, drugs are tablets and there are very few side effects.
This is a major change from just a few years ago, when hepatitis C treatment time was from six to twelve months, with toxic side effects, and only a 50 percent chance of being cured.
This means that people newly diagnosed with hepatitis C, as well as those who have been living with chronic hepatitis C for many years, will now have access to a fast, effective and well-tolerated cure.
How Do I Treat My Hepatitis B
Not every patient with chronic hepatitis B needs to be on medication. Although there is no cure for hepatitis B, there are effective treatments that can reduce the risk of liver disease. However, if your ALT level is elevated , antiviral medication may be appropriate. There are currently 7 FDA-approved drugs to treat chronic HBV infection . Talk to your doctor about whether you are good candidate for drug therapy and make sure you discuss treatment rationale, options, side effects, and risks associated with each treatment.
Additionally, if you are chronically infected with hepatitis B and are starting cancer chemotherapy, you should be on HBV treatment to protect against potential flare-up of the hepatitis B infection and risk of liver failure.
Medications For Hepatitis C: Youve Got Options
Back in the day, the treatment for hep C was as grueling as chemotherapy for cancer and included weekly injections as well as oral medications, usually a combination of interferon and ribavirin . Were talking 12 to 18 pills a day for a year complete with tough side effects like nausea or vomiting, hair loss, severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Now, thanks to medical advances, hep C is considered curable with oral meds taken every day for two to six months, and side effects are generally limited to fatigue, headache or nausea. Itâs not perfect, but itâs a lot better than it used to be.
Today, direct-acting antivirals are whatâs typically prescribed to attack the hep C virus and stop it from multiplying. These oral meds have dramatically improved the chances of a hep C cure and are now considered first-line treatments. DAAs fall under one of these four categories , which may be used individually or in combination:
Protease inhibitors: Targets the NS3/4A protease enzyme, which is responsible for helping the virus copy itself and drug resistance.
Polymerase inhibitors: This group of DAAs work to block the enzymes that help the hep C virus mature.
Protein inhibitors: These zone in on the protein thatâs in charge of assembling new hep C virus particles and replicating the virus itself.
Combination DAAs: By combining several DAA drugs, youll attack the virus in multiple ways and avoid drug resistance.
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Pregnancy And Hepatitis C
The new hepatitis C medicines have not been tested in pregnancy.
You should not become pregnant while taking treatment as it could be harmful to unborn babies.
If you’re pregnant, you must delay treatment until after your baby is born.
Speak to your doctor before starting hepatitis C treatment if you’re planning to become pregnant in the near future.
You’ll need to wait several weeks after treatment has ended before trying to get pregnant.
Women taking ribavirin should use contraception during treatment and for another 4 months after the end of treatment.
If you become pregnant during treatment, speak to your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options.
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New Drugs Cure Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a that can cause serious and permanent liver damage. The goal of treatment is to clear the virus from the body and stop, slow and prevent liver problems. Until recently, doing that involved inconvenient and painful injections of interferon and a pill called ribavirin. That therapy is known for its toxic side effects and has been compared to low-grade chemo. Worse, it doesnt always work that well. These traditional drugs offer a 50% cure rate at best.
But today, were witnessing a revolution in hepatitis C treatment, as more and more medications that directly target the virus gain approval. These medications offer a cure, instead of a partial clearing of the virus. And, as a bonus, most come in the form of a pill. They have fewer side effects and work much fasterwhich means you dont have to stay on treatment as long as compared to interferon and other drugs.
The rapidly-evolving hep C medication list is giving new hope for the 3.2 million Americans living with the chronic form of the disease. Antiviral therapy for hep C continues to rapidly evolve with the introduction of new drugs and treatment regimens that vary based on hep C genotype, previous treatments, and the presence of cirrhosis. Heres a closer look at some of the currently prescribed interferon-free medicines for hepatitis C.
Will The Drugs Be Available By 1 March 2016
Although the drugs will be available for prescribing through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, it may be that not all GPs or pharmacists are fully aware of the new treatments by that date. This means there may be some delay in some areas in accessing the drugs from your local GP. However, the Victorian Government is working with doctors, services and hospitals to ensure these delays are minimised as much as possible.
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Pharmacologic Basis Of Direct Acting Antiviral Drug Interaction
Drug-drug interaction is the modification of the action of one drug by another and may be pharmacodynamic or pharmacokinetic in nature. Pharmacodynamic interactions dont result due to a change in drug concentrations but lead to alteration of the response of body to another drug. Pharmacodynamic interactions may occur between drugs with opposite actions leading to antagonism or may occur between drugs with similar actions leading to potentiation, addition or synergism. Pharmacodynamic interactions are not easy to be quantified, and subsequently, are difficult to manage. For example, during the interferon-based therapy for chronic HCV, Peg-INF enhances the ribavirin-induced anemia to discontinue the therapy. On the other hand, pharmacokinetic interactions do result in a change in drug concentrations and occur at the level of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. Pharmacokinetic interactions are partially predictable based on the available data and can be limited or prevented by a dosage adjustment.
Side Effects Of Ledifos Tablet
The common side effects of ledifos are headaches and tiredness. The patient should drink a sufficient amount of fluid and consume a healthier diet to overcome or avoid the side effects of the drug. Before taking medicine, you should inform your doctor whether you are regularly consuming any other supplement or medicine. Most side effects do not need any medical attention and fade away as the body adapts to the medicine.
Some of the major and minor side effects of ledifos are as follows-
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Mavyret Vs Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir For Hep C Genotype 3
This graph compares Mavyret with Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir for treating Hep C genotype 3. As you see Sof + Dac is superior to Mavyret
These two graphs are from separate studies. One shows cure rates for Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir across all genotypes of Hepatitis C and the other shows cure rates for Mavyret across all genotypes of Hepatitis C. The difference in cure rates is so small as to be relatively insignificant. In other words Mavyret or Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir could be said to be equally effective. The BIG difference lies in the price. A treatment with Mavyret will cost at least US,000 whereas a treatment using Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir will cost not more than US0.
Are There Ways To Cure Hepatitis C Other Than With Medications
Patients sometimes ask whether there are ways to treat hepatitis C other than taking medicines. Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent hepatitis C. Once a person is infected, the only way to treat it is with prescribed antiviral medications.
Some patients worry that having hepatitis C means they will need a liver transplant. Only a very small fraction of people with hepatitis C require a liver transplant. By far, most people with hepatitis C never need a liver transplant. A transplant is performedonlywhen damage to the liver is extremely advanced and the liver is unable to perform its basic functions. A transplant provides a new working liver, but a transplant does not get rid of the hepatitis C virus in the patient. Patients with a liver transplant still need antiviral medication to cure their virus.
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What Are The New Hepatitis C Treatments And When Will They Be Available
Recent advances in antiviral treatment have led to the development of new highly effective drugs for the treatment of all types of hepatitis C.
The new hepatitis C treatments are sofosbuvir with ledipasvir sofosbuvir daclatasvir and ribavirin .
These new treatments will be available on the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme from 1 March 2016.
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Berberis Vulgaris And Chionanthus For Liver Problem Such As Gall Stones
A gall stone is really a calculus formed within the gall bladder. Gall stones are formed due to concretion of the bile components. A person may experience intense pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The most effective among medicines for liver problems such as these are Berberis Vulgaris and Chionanthus. Berberis Vulgaris is the most prescribed medicine for gall stones. Sharp pains in the region of the gall bladder are treated well with Berberis Vulgaris. Chionanthus is another excellent medicine for gall stones with soreness in the liver region. Gall stones and bilious colic accompanied by jaundice are also treated very well with Chionanthus, making it one of the top-rated medicines for liver problems.
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Natural Remedies And Hepatitis B
When we get sick, we want to get well quickly. Some of us turn to our doctors first, while others may try home remedies or alternative medicine. Many of us do both.
Natural medicine means that no chemicals, drugs or surgeries are used to help you get well. Alternative medicine is simply an alternative to conventional medicine. For instance, in the U.S., ancient healing practices, such as faith healing, Chinese medicine or seeing a curandero are alternatives. So are naturopathy, homeopathy, and herbal medicine. Integrative medicine uses both. Its common for people to use more than one healing method.
In the U.S., we have access to many alternatives, and we tend to apply Western medical concepts to natural medicine. This is most evident in our use of supplements. When diagnosed with hepatitis B, we may want to take something that will help the liver, such as a supplement or herb. Its easier to take something than it is to exercise and eat right. However, everything passes through the liver, and just because herbs and supplements are natural, they arent necessarily safe.
Despite claims on the Internet, no natural remedy has been proven to cure hepatitis B. There may be remedies that improve symptoms associated with hep B, but none has permanently eradicated the virus. There isnt a large body of research on natural remedies and hepatitis B much of what we know is anecdotal, meaning that people tell others about their experiences.
Who Should Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine
All newborn babies should get vaccinated. You should also get the shot if you:
- Come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of friends or family members
- Use needles to take recreational drugs
- Have sex with more than one person
- Are a health care worker
- Work in a day-care center, school, or jail
Hepatitis Treatments And Vaccines
If you have a hepatitis infection, the treatment will depend on which strain you have.
With hepatitis A, no treatment is necessary, according to Peters. However, some people may need supportive careIV fluids and anti-nausea medication. The biggest concern is the potential for liver failure in some patients.
There is also a vaccine available for hepatitis A, which is very effective.
When a patient has hepatitis B, doctors will prescribe oral anti-viral medications.
These do not cure the virus, Peters said. They just suppress the replication of the virus and, therefore, prevent liver damage.
The hepatitis B vaccine has proven to be very effective, and it has significantly reduced the transmission of the virus from mother to fetus, according to Peters.
Recently, new anti-viral medications have become available to help treat hepatitis C. These medications have been very effective, according to Peters, with cure rates higher than 95%. A course of treatment usually only takes 8 or 12 weeks, and people tolerate it very well.
Unfortunately, they are very expensive and the cost has become a barrier for treatment for many people, Peters said.
And, while research is underway, there is no vaccine currently available for hepatitis C.
Your Liver Is Located In The Right Upper Area Of Your Abdomen It Performs Many Critical Functions That Affect Metabolism Throughout Your Body Including:
- bile production, which is essential to digestion
- filtering of toxins from your body
- excretion of bilirubin , cholesterol, hormones, and drugs
- breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
- activation of enzymes, which are specialized proteins essential to body functions
- storage of glycogen , minerals, and vitamins
- synthesis of blood proteins, such as albumin
- synthesis of clotting factors
Types of viral hepatitis
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Effective Treatments Are Available For Hepatitis C
New medication to treat for HCV have been approved in recent years. These treatments are much better than the previously available treatment because they have few side effects and do not need to be injected. There are several direct-acting antiviral HCV treatments that cure more than 95% of people who take them in 8 to 12 weeks. HCV treatment dramatically reduces deaths among people with HCV infection, and people who are cured of HCV are much less likely to develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Take Action! CDCs National Prevention Information Network Service Locator helps consumers locate hepatitis B and hepatitis C prevention, care, and treatment services.
What About Patients With Hepatitis C Who Also Have Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B virus can flare in patients who are co-infected with hepatitis B and hepatitis C and are taking medication for hepatitis C. This has been reported as a potential risk for patients who are taking hepatitis C treatment and have underlying hepatitis B as well. The flare usually occurs within a few weeks after the patient starts taking medication for hepatitis C. Therefore, patients who have both hepatitis B and hepatitis C should be seen by a hepatitis expertbeforestarting treatment of the hepatitis C they may need to start taking hepatitis B treatment to avoid a hepatitis B flare.
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Am I Eligible For Treatment
In the past, when treatment for Hepatitis C basically consisted of interferon and ribavirin, side effects precluded many patients from being eligible. However, with the current availability of interferon-free treatment regimens, many of these people can now receive treatment for their Hepatitis C infection.
Some things your Hepatitis C provider will want to know when discussing your eligibility for treatment, as well as deciding which treatment regimen is best for you, include the following:
- What medications do you currently take? Some medicines interact with Hepatitis C medications, which can affect the level of either one meaning that the level of the Hepatitis C medicine or your other medicine may become too high or too low. There can be risks of toxicity if too high, or the medication may be less effective if too low. If available, your Hepatitis C provider will select a treatment option with no interactions. If not available, he or she can talk to your other healthcare providers about the possibility of changing your current medicines before Hepatitis C treatment begins. As an example, people taking amiodarone should not take Sovaldi or Harvoni due to serious risks of a slow heart rate deaths have been reported. People taking amiodarone would need to take some other Hepatitis C treatment.
- Are you pregnant? Antiviral medications may not be recommended if you are pregnant, because these medications can cause birth defects in babies.