Treatment For Acute And Chronic Hepatitis C Infection
Some people are diagnosed with hepatitis C when the infection is in the acute phase . About one in four people will clear the hepatitis C virus from their body on their own within six months. When a person is diagnosed with hepatitis C in the acute phase, a healthcare provider might recommend waiting to see if their body clears the virus on its own.
Current treatment guidelines in Canada focus on treatment for chronic hepatitis C infection . The treatment guidelines recommend that treatment of acute hepatitis C infection be assessed on an individualized basis. In many cases, a person has to progress to chronic hepatitis C infection before they can receive public or private drug coverage for hepatitis C treatments.
What Does It Mean To Have A Successful Treatment What Is A Sustained Virologic Response
In an untreated state, the hepatitis C virus infects the cells of the liver and then continuously lives there, making copies of itself that circulate in the bloodstream. Antiviral medications can destroy the ability of the virus to reproduce, so the amount of virus in the bloodstream then decreases. The amount of virus in the blood is measured by aviral load.
Treatment is successful when the viral load drops toundetectablelevels, which means the virus cannot be detected in the bloodstream at all. The viral load becomes undetectable during treatment and remains undetected after treatment has ended. If there is still no detectable virus in the blood 12 weeks after the end of the treatment, the treatment was successful. This is called a Sustained Virologic Response .
A patient who has achieved an SVR is considered to be cured of the hepatitis C virus.
What Is The Best Hepatitis C Treatment
Every day I get emails from people around the world asking for advice about Hepatitis C treatment. They are asking about which medicine they should get and what price they should pay and how long they should do the Hepatitis C treatment for.
Now I am not a doctor and have no formal medical training but I have lived and breathed Hepatitis C seven days a week 365 days a year since 2014 when I first learned that I was infected with Hepatitis C.
Whilst I am not a medical man I do, however, have a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Diploma in Education and a Masters Degree in History and I was 6 months into my PhD when I learned I had Hep C. So I am no dummy and I am quite capable of doing serious formal research.
So in this post I am going to show you which is the best, and most affordable, Hepatitis C treatment based on the results of solid scientific research done by many different internationally recognised research groups.
And I am going to say now that the best value all round Hep C treatment is Sofosbuvir 400 mg + Daclatasvir 60. In almost every situation, for every genotype Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir is equal to, or better than, Epclusa, Maviret or Harvoni and it is also the least expensive at US0 for a 12 weeks treatment.
Recommended Reading: Ways To Contract Hepatitis C
Is Hep C Curable
The latest drugs available for hepatitis C have high success rates when it comes to curing the condition.
In conversations with your doctor, you can discuss the full range of treatment options. Some of these are combination drugs.
But its important to note that not every medication may be effective for you, even if its for the right genotype.
Best Treatment Options For Acute And Chronic Hepatitis C
Best treatment options for acute and chronic hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is not considered to be a fatal condition in its acute form. It is considered to be fatal when it has advanced to the chronic level. Chronic or long-lasting hepatitis can damage the liver and that is why doctors are worried about chronic hepatitis C. It can lead to scarring of the liver which is known as cirrhosis in medical parlance.
Acute hepatitis does not always advance to the chronic level. In fact, some people acquire and get rid of hepatitis C without ever being aware of it. Studies have shown that about 95% of infected people get rid of the infection within 6 months. However, everybody is not lucky enough. Acute hepatitis C does advance to chronic hepatitis C in some people and that is the cause for worry. To avoid the chronic form you need to get the best hep C treatments for acute hepatitis so that your liver gets rid of the virus at the initial stage. But before that, you need to know how the hep C virus gets into your body.
Risk factors for acquiring hepatitis C
Acute hepatitis C Treatment options
Positive HCV RNA test and elevated ALT
Chronichepatitis C treatment options
A strong immune system may be the best weapon to fight the scourge of hepatitis C. Therefore, regular intake of vitamin C and other nutrients that enhance the immune system may well be the best defense against the virus.
Also Check: Difference Between Hepatitis B And C
What Causes Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood. Contact can occur by
- sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
- getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
- being tattooed or pierced with tools or inks that were not kept sterilefree from all viruses and other microorganismsand were used on an infected person before they were used on you
- having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
- using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
- being born to a mother with hepatitis C
- having unprotected sex with an infected person
You cant get hepatitis C from
- being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person
- drinking water or eating food
- hugging an infected person
- shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
- sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
- sitting next to an infected person
A baby cant get hepatitis C from breast milk.18
How Can I Be Sure My Hep C Is Cured
12 weeks after your treatment has ended, a blood test can measure how much viral genetic material is in your blood. If no viral RNA is detected, this is called a sustained virologic response . An SVR is important because studies show us that 99% of all SVRs end in a long-term cure.
So, to be clear: New hep C treatments cure hep C type 1 more than 95% of the time, and a simple blood test 12 weeks after you finish treatment will confirm that this is the case.
Read Also: Hepatitis B E Antibody Reactive Means
Protease Inhibitor Antiviral Medications
Protease inhibitors work by preventing the spread of infection within the body by stopping viruses from multiplying.
Grazoprevir is a protease inhibitor for hepatitis C genotypes 1 and 4. Its only available in combination with elbasvir and sold as grazoprevir/elbasvir.
The drug combination is sold under the brand name Zepatier.
New Drugs Cure Hepatitis C
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 doesn’t always work that well. These traditional drugs offer a 50% cure rate at best.
But today, we’re 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 don’t 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. Here’s a closer look at some of the currently prescribed interferon-free medicines for hepatitis C.
Recommended Reading: How To Cure Hepatitis C Naturally
How Common Is Hepatitis C In The United States
In the United States, hepatitis C is the most common chronic viral infection found in blood and spread through contact with blood.14
Researchers estimate that about 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C.13 Many people who have hepatitis C dont have symptoms and dont know they have this infection.
New screening efforts and more effective hepatitis C treatments are helping doctors identify and cure more people with the disease. With more screening and treatment, hepatitis C may become less common in the future. Researchers estimate that hepatitis C could be a rare disease in the United States by 2036.17
The Challenges Of Early Diagnosis
HCV infection can be difficult to detect, for several reasons.
Many early symptoms of HCV infection, such as fatigue and joint pain, are non specific and may not catch the attention of patients or their doctors. Furthermore, Lok adds, most patients with hepatitis C do not have any symptoms until they have cirrhosis and even when they have early cirrhosis, they may not have symptoms.
As a result, many individuals with HCV infection dont even know they are infected. Dr. Lok adds that screening for high-risk groups in particular needs to be improved, so they can benefit from new treatments.
One of Dr. Loks current research projects addresses this very issue. Working with MiChart,the University of Michigans electronic health record system, Dr. Loks team placed electronic alerts indicating the need for HCV testing in all patients born between 1945 and 1965 a group that is five times more likely to be infected who have never been tested. The alert links to an order set and provides educational information on HCV infection for primary care physicians, medical staff and patients.
We just completed the pilot phase of this study, and we observed a marked increase in screening rates, Dr. Lok says.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Hepatitis C Twice
Sofosbuvir Velpatasvir And Voxilapresvir
This drug combination is similar to Epclusa but also includes a drug called voxilapresvir.
Facts about Vosevi include:
- Treatment time is 12 weeks for people without cirrhosis or compensated cirrhosis .
- Dosage is fixed at 400 mg of sofosbuvir, 100 mg of velpatasvir, and 100 mg of voxilapresvir once per day with food.
- Common side effects include tiredness, a headache, diarrhea, and nausea.
Doctors often recommend Vosevi for people who have had previous treatment for hepatitis C that did not work.
Antiviral Medication For Hepatitis B
Doctors may recommend antiviral medication for people with chronic hepatitis B, which occurs when the virus stays in your body for more than six months.
Antiviral medication prevents the virus from replicating, or creating copies of itself, and may prevent progressive liver damage. Currently available medications can treat hepatitis B with a low risk of serious side effects.
NYU Langone hepatologists and infectious disease specialists prescribe medication when they have determined that without treatment, the hepatitis B virus is very likely to damage the liver over time. People with chronic hepatitis B may need to take antiviral medication for the rest of their lives to prevent liver damage.
There are many different types of antiviral medications available, and your doctor recommends the right type for you based on your symptoms, your overall health, and the results of diagnostic tests. A doctor may take a wait-and-see approach with a person who has a healthy liver and whose blood tests indicate a low viral load, the number of copies of the hepatitis B virus in your bloodstream.
Someone with HIV infection or AIDS may have a weakened immune system and is therefore more likely to develop liver damage. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that people with HIV infection who are diagnosed with hepatitis B immediately begin treatment with antiviral medication.
Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C Symptoms Mayo Clinic
The Best And The Cheapest
The fact is that the best Hepatitis C treatment is also the cheapest. Strangely it is also the treatment least likely to be prescribed in Western Countries such as the USA, Canada and Europe. The reason for this is that BIG Pharma does not make any money for Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir because the patent for Sofosbuvir is owned by Gilead and the patent for Daclatasvir is owned by BMS and the two Big Pharma giants could not come to an agreement on cooperation.
So it happens that the best and cheapest treatment for Hepatitis C is not being used in many countries simply because Big Pharma has let its greed block what is best for people with Hepatitis C
Here is the Abstract of the research results:
This graph shows that there is no significant difference in cure rates between Sofosbuvir + Velaptasvir and Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir. The exception is where liver cirrhosis is present, in which case Sof + Vel is slightly superior and where a patient has failed previous treatment, where Sof + Dac is significantly superior
J Hepatol. 2019 Jan 70:15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.09.018. Epub 2018 Sep 26.
Ifn Monotherapy In Acute Hepatitis C
Although the short courses of standard IFN monotherapy introduced in the 1980s by Hoofnagle et al, Davis et al, and Di Bisceglie et al led to sustained improvement in liver disease and loss of virus in less than 10% of patients, these therapies were the first to cure chronic viral hepatitis.
Jaeckel et al reported that treatment with IFN alfa-2b prevented chronic infection in 98% of a group of 44 German patients with acute hepatitis C. In this study, patients received 5 million U/day of IFN alfa-2b subcutaneously for 4 weeks and then three times per week for another 20 weeks the IFN alfa-2b was well tolerated in all patients but one.
Because it has the poorest safety profile of all the HCV antiviral agents, with few exceptions PEG-IFN is no longer recommended in combination regimens. Spontaneous resolution of acute HCV infection may occur in 15% to 50% of patients. Monitoring for spontaneous clearance for a minimum of 6 months before initiating any treatment is therefore recommended.
World Health Organization. Hepatitis C: fact sheet. Available at . Updated: October 2017 Accessed: January 23, 2018.
Frank C, Mohamed MK, Strickland GT, et al. The role of parenteral antischistosomal therapy in the spread of hepatitis C virus in Egypt. Lancet. 2000 Mar 11. 355:887-91. .
Kim A. Hepatitis C virus. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Sep 6. 165 :ITC33-ITC48. .
Also Check: Is Viral Hepatitis C Contagious
A Model For Disease Progression
During the course of HCV infection, some patients progress to liver fibrosis and liver cancer, while others do not. Dr. Loks team is also analyzing factors associated with this progression.
They are developing dynamic models to predict the risk for liver fibrosis progression. Traditional models use data collected from patients at the time of disease presentation, Dr. Lok explains. Dynamic models account for changes over time by using not only baseline data but also longitudinal data. The use of dynamic models allows researchers to adjust risk calculations depending on an individuals course of disease.
Our models use novel statistical methods, including machine learning, which allow us to incorporate many more pieces of data compared with traditional models. We have found that these dynamic models are more accurate than baseline models in predicting the risk for liver failure and death.
Dr. Lok hopes these models can be refined to be able to predict even earlier stages of liver disease, such as progression from mild to moderate fibrosis.
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.
Don’t Miss: Where Can I Get Hepatitis B Vaccine
Sometimes The Infection Goes Away On Its Own
Acute hepatitis is C is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after being exposed to the virus. Like the human papillomavirus , early acute hepatitis C can clear on its own without treatment this happens about 25% of the time.
However, it’s more likely that the virus will remain in your body longer than six months, at which point it’s considered to be chronic hepatitis C infection.
“Being younger or a woman tends to be a factor in whether the virus clears on its own, and genetics may play a role,” Reau says. “But we can’t determine with certainty which people are certain to clear the infection and which aren’t.”