Who Can Access The Cures
Hep C cures are now available to everyone in Australia who has hep C.* The national and state governments want everyone with hep C to be cured, including prisoners and people who inject drugs. Now is a very good time to consider testing for hep C or speaking to your doctor about the hep C cures.
*Cures are available to people who have a Medicare Card or Health Care Concession Card and who arent hospital inpatients.
You might be able to access healthcare and the cures via your computer or phone.
Factors To Consider Prior To Choosing Initial Treatment Regimen
For persons chronically infected with genotype 3 hepatitis C, four factors should be considered when choosing the initial treatment regimen and duration: the presence of baseline NS5A-resistance-associated substitution Y93H , presence or absence of cirrhosis, drug interactions, and cost and/or insurance considerations.
Can Hepatitis C Be Cured
Considerable progress has been made by past clinical trials in the medical treatment of hepatitis C. The rate of cure has increased with the development of direct-acting, all-oral antiviral regimens, and the length of therapy is much shorter. Treatment recommendations continue to change as new medicines become available. Treatment helps to reduce progression of liver damage to cirrhosis, may prevent liver cancer, and may prevent spread of the infection to other people.
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Helpful Tips While Taking Hepatitis C Medications
- Always follow your health care providers’ advice, particularly the instructions on taking your medicine.
- If you have to cancel an appointment, call your provider and schedule a new one as soon as possible.
- Take good care of yourself. Eat well, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, and try to get a full night’s sleep.
- Learn about the hepatitis C medications you are taking. This includes special risks and warnings.
- If taking ribavirin, use sunscreen, wear long sleeves and a hat, and limit sun exposure.
- Write down your doctor’s name and phone number. Carry this information with you at all times.
- Write the names and amounts of the medicines you are taking. Carry this information with you at all times.
Antiviral Treatment In Childhood
In an initial clinical trial, 12 weeks of treatment with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir yielded sustained virus eradication rates of 96% and 100% in patients aged 12 to 17 with chronic HCV infection of genotypes 1 and 4, respectively. The pharmacokinetic parameters of both substances were analogous to those seen in adults . Further cohorts of children aged 611 and 35 are now under evaluation, with drug doses of 33.7545 mg and 150200 mg . The findings are expected to become available in 2017.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
See your GP if you persistently have any of the later symptoms above, or if they keep returning. They may recommend having a blood test that can check for hepatitis C. Read more about diagnosing hepatitis C.
None of the symptoms above mean you definitely have hepatitis C, but it’s important to get them checked out.
You should also speak to your GP about getting tested if there’s a risk you’re infected, even if you don’t have any symptoms. This particularly includes people who inject drugs or have done so in the past.
Read about the causes of hepatitis C for more information about who’s at risk of having the infection.
Hepatitis C And Blood Spills
When cleaning and removing blood spills, use standard infection control precautions at all times:
- Cover any cuts or wounds with a waterproof dressing.
- Wear single-use gloves and use paper towel to mop up blood spills.
- Clean the area with warm water and detergent, then rinse and dry.
- Place used gloves and paper towels into a plastic bag, then seal and dispose of them in a rubbish bin.
- Wash your hands in warm, soapy water then dry them thoroughly.
- Put bloodstained tissues, sanitary towels or dressings in a plastic bag before throwing them away.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Chronic Hepatitis C
The treatment of hepatitis C is expensive, difficult and arduous from the patients perspective. It is similarly difficult for the clinician to decide who and when to treat.
If hepatitis C is viewed from the livers perspective, we need only treat those patients who will develop the complications of chronic liver disease within their lifetimes. If we take a more holistic approach, then we have to consider the implications of being a carrier of a potentially transmissible blood borne virus on the patient themselves, their relationships, their families and their sense of well-being.
There is now evidence of the large impact HCV has on quality of life and we have to consider extra hepatic manifestations of hepatitis C infection, possibly including the syndrome of brain fog recently described.
An additional factor that has to be considered in the decision to treat is whether patients perceive hepatitis C as a significant problem for themselves.
For some patients, who have chaotic live styles, it is extremely difficult to get them to access healthcare. To then undergo the rigors and tribulations of hepatitis C therapy that is posing no current problem is unlikely to succeed.
However, failure to engage these patients with therapy will lead to a significant proportion of them presenting with serious complications of chronic liver disease, with its attendant mortality, morbidity and cost.
Gilead Is A Greedy Beast
Because GILEAD is a greedy beast it did not want to share its potential profits with anyone else so GILEAD severed that relationship with BMS and Daclatasvir and went on to develop another drug to replace Daclatasvir, this was Ledipasvir.
It took a little longer to create Ledipasvir but GILEAD could not wait to start its profits rolling in so it began selling Sovaldi alone, which was not as effective as Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir but it enabled GILEAD to recoup its 12 billion dollars in less than 12 months.
Sovaldi was not as effective as Sovaldi + Daclatasvir but GILEAD did not have to share its profits so GILEAD was happy, even though lots of people failed their treatment with Sovaldi alone.
So instead of the world getting a cheap pan-genotypic drug that cured all genotypes of Hep C the world got Sovaldi and then Harvoni.
Harvoni was only effective for the treatment of Hep C Genotype 1 but G1 represented about 70% of all Hep C infections in the USA and GILEAD knew that the USA was where it could make big bucks fastest. So GILEAD focused on Harvoni using Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir which Gilead owned.
Because Gilead owned Sofosbuvir and because Daclatasvir by itself was not a viable treatment this was a commercial decision that helped no-one except Gilead and it allowed Gilead to take all the profits and delayed the release of a single dose pan-genotypic treatment for more than 3 years.
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Causes Of Hepatitis C
You can become infected with hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood of an infected person.
Other bodily fluids can also contain the virus, but blood contains the highest level of it. Just a small trace of blood can cause an infection. At room temperature, it’s thought the virus may be able survive outside the body in patches of dried blood on surfaces for up to several weeks.
The main ways you can become infected with the hepatitis C virus are described below.
Healthy Tips For Living With Hepatitis C
The Mayo Clinic has identified some lifestyle changes you can make to help improve your health during your treatment for hepatitis C. They suggest that you:
- Be careful with your medications. Some drugs, even those prescribed by your doctor, may have the side effect of causing liver damage. This is a bigger risk for people with hepatitis C. Talk to your doctor about whether you should avoid certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
- Avoid alcohol. Drinking alcoholic beverages can make liver disease progress more quickly. Therefore, its best to avoid alcohol if you have hepatitis C.
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How Long Does It Take To Cure Hepatitis C
Depending on the drug combination, the specific genotype of hepatitis C that is to be treated, any prior treatment, and whether the person has cirrhosis, the duration of medical therapy may be as few as 8 weeks, or up to 24 weeks. Most regimens are for 12 consecutive weeks. This is much shorter than the interferon-based treatments years ago that lasted up to 48 weeks. Generally, a person is not considered “cured” until the “RNA viral load” is undetectable for 24 weeks after therapy is stopped. This is called “sustained virologic response” or SVR.
The presence of cirrhosis or liver fibrosis is determined by liver biopsy, noninvasive fibrosis scans, or formulas that estimate liver fibrosis based on blood tests, such as AST-to-platelet Ratio Index or Fibrosis-4 Index.3
A very important aspect of treatment is the elimination of all alcohol consumption. Alcohol adds fuel to the fire when it comes to chronic hepatitis. Drinking alcohol greatly worsens liver fibrosis and speeds progression to cirrhosis, and there is no “safe” amount to drink for someone with chronic hepatitis. Drinking alcohol also makes it harder for the medications to be effective and may interfere with proper dosing.
How Can I Prevent Hepatitis C Infection
Although there is currently no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, there are things you can do to avoid becoming infected or re-infected and prevent the spread of hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is not spread through food or close personal contact such as handshaking, hugging and kissing. Hepatitis C is spread when the blood from an infected person enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person. To avoid this happening:
- do not share needles or other equipment to inject drugs or any other substances
- do not use personal items that may have come in contact with an infected persons blood such as shavers or toothbrushes
- avoid touching blood or open wounds
- avoid sexual practices that might risk blood contact including trauma, during menstruation, or in presence of genital ulcers.
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Factors To Consider Prior To Choosing Retreatment Regimen
For retreatment of adults with HCV genotype 3 infection, several factors influence the regimen choice, including the prior regimen used when treatment failure occurred, the presence or absence of cirrhosis, and cost or insurance considerations. It is also worth noting that the clinical data for treatment-experienced individuals with HCV genotype 3 is more limited for the newest DAAs, such as glecaprevir-pibrentasvir, since these individuals have been encountered less frequently in recent years due to the efficacy of earlier DAA regimens. Therefore, the optimal duration of therapy for retreatment of persons with HCV genotype 3 with glecaprevir-pibrentasvir is not well established. The retreatment of individuals with HCV genotype 3 who have decompensated cirrhosis, renal impairment, acute HCV, or post-liver transplantation is not addressed in this lesson.
Initial Treatment Of Adults With Hcv Infection
Initial treatment of HCV infection includes patients with chronic hepatitis C who have not been previously treated with interferon, peginterferon, ribavirin, or any HCV direct-acting antiviral agent, whether investigational, or US Food and Drug Administration approved.
Simplification of the treatment regimen may expand the number of healthcare professionals who prescribe antiviral therapy and increase the number of persons treated. This would align with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine strategy to reduce cases of chronic HCV infection by 90% by 2030 .
- Simplified Pangenotypic HCV Treatment Algorithm for Treatment-Naive Adults With Compensated Cirrhosis
Recommended and alternative regimens are listed in order of level of evidence. When several regimens are at the same recommendation level, they are listed in alphabetical order. Regimen choice should be determined based on patient-specific data, including drug-drug interactions. Patients receiving antiviral therapy require careful pretreatment assessment for comorbidities that may influence treatment response or regimen selection. All patients should have access to an HCV care provider during treatment, although preset clinic visits and/or blood tests depend on the treatment regimen and may not be required for all regimens/patients. Patients receiving ribavirin require additional monitoring for anemia during treatment .
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Who Can I Talk With During Treatment
Since hepatitis C treatment plans last several weeks, you should regularly attend medical appointments. Your doctor may have a list of local groups where you can find emotional support.
There may also be other resources like community nurses and walk-in clinics. With this information, youll know where to go for help between appointments.
Another option is to explore the online hepatitis C community, where people share their experiences with hepatitis C.
For example, the Inspire hepatitis C group allows people to connect, share stories, discuss treatment, and more.
Treatment And Care For Hepatitis Patients
Know what the best treatment is
The search for the most efficient and the best hep c medication has been ongoing for decades. For years, doctors have treated their patients with hepatitis C by two different class of medicinal drugs. However, using antiviral medication alone is not possible and can be taken only with the combination of interferon and other modern drugs.
But, as the research works have progressed, the need for these antivirals has reduced, as a whole new combination of drugs has been found in 2016. The first single tablet treatment, a combination of two different classes of medication, is the most recent and best hepatitis c treatment known.
Why is it considered to be the best?
Determining the best among all the hepatitis c treatments is a tricky part, as depending on the condition of the patient and the genotype of hepatitis C invasion the drug combination tend to change. Therefore, irrespective of whether one is taking the widely used drug combination or the other modern drugs, it is their effectiveness in treating the condition and recovering qualities that make them the best.
Benefits of opting for the best treatment
The main advantage of choosing the best hep c treatment is that despite the liver condition of the patient already deteriorating best treatments offer the best chances for overcoming the illness. And when the diagnosis is made early, then the best treatment paves a quicker path towards achieving a total cure.
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Gilead Wins Hep C Patients Lose
The pricing of Sovaldi was first at $84,00 and Harvoni at $94,000 in effect valued the NS5A part at $10,000.
But BMS was charging about $50,000 for 84 Daclatasvir pills, which meant that relatively few people got access to the powerful drug combination of Sofosbuvir + Daclatasvir.
This strategy worked very well for Gileads profits but, for people who were infected with Genotype 2 or Genotype 3 this did not work not well at all
Eventually Gilead developed Velpatasvir which combined with Sofosbuvir created Epclusa, a genuine pan-genotype Hep C treatment. But Velpatasvir is expensive to make and, because of this Epclusa is actually still the most expensive of the Hep C treatments, even in generic form.
In the mean time another pharmaceutical giant, AbbVie, realized the potential profits to be made from a drug combination that treated all genotypes of Hep C and came up with the drug Mavyret.
What Are The Side Effects Of Treatment
Some people stop therapy because of side effects. Since hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer if not treated, its vital to stick with a treatment plan.
Newer drugs have fewer severe side effects than pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Nevertheless, you may feel some effects while taking hepatitis C medication. Side effects can include:
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- appetite loss or weight loss
Serious side effects can occur with pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment. If youre taking these medications, you should be monitored for these serious side effects:
- light sensitivity in the eyes
- trouble breathing because of lung tissue inflammation
- suicidal thoughts, depression, or irritability
- thyroid disease
- elevated liver enzymes
- autoimmune disease flares
Some medications arent recommended if theres evidence of liver damage, like cirrhosis . A co-infection with HIV also affects medication options.
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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.
Awareness Prevention And Early Diagnosis Are Essential
There’s a good reason why hepatitis C is known as a “silent killer.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3.2 million Americans live with chronic hepatitis C infection, which is transmitted through infected bodily fluids like blood and semen, and causes inflammation of the liver. Yet up to 75% of people who have hepatitis C aren’t aware they have it.
Most of those living with the virus experience only mild symptoms or don’t have any symptoms at all until they develop serious liver damage or another life-threatening liver disease. Unfortunately, that means they aren’t getting diagnosed and treatment is delayed until the later stages when irreversible liver damage has occurred.
Here, hepatologistNancy Reau, MD, associate director of the Solid Organ Transplant Program at Rush University Medical Center, explains who is at risk for hepatitis C and offers advice to help you protect yourself.
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