City Health Information (CHI): Diagnosing and Managing Hepatitis C. NYC Department of Health
HCV Advocate Treatment Fact Sheets for Service Providers and Patients
Psychosocial Readiness Evaluation & Preparation for Hep C Treatment
A New Free Interactive Online Tool for health care and social service providers to assess and improve a patient’s readiness to begin Hep C Treatment. Learn more…. www.PREPC.org
Approved Pharmacological Therapies for Hepatitis C
- Interferon alfa
- Pegylated Interferon alfa
- HCV protease Inhibitors
1. Interferon alfa
- Given by Injection three times a week.
- Side Effects: a flu-like syndrome (fever, chills, tachycardia, malaise, myalgia, headache), occurs within 1-2 hours of administration; may last up to 24 hours. It would be helpful to take Tylenol 2 hours before or after the injection, to decrease some side effects.
2. Pegylated Interferon alfa
- Long acting form of interferon that can be injected once a week. It maintains more constant level of interferon in the blood, and is better able to reduce HCV replication.
- Side Effects: Central nervous system: Headache, fatigue, fever, insomnia, depression, dizziness, irritability, anxiety, nervousness, and pain.
- Oral antiviral medication.
- It’s used in combination with interferon to treat hepatitis C. It’s not effective if used alone, but helps relapse after stopping interferon.
- Side Effects: U.S. Boxed Warning: Hemolytic anemia is the primary clinical toxicity of oral therapy, anemia associated with ribavirin may worsen underlying cardiac disease and lead to fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarctions. Avoid use in patients with significant/unstable cardiac disease.
- Ribavirin should be avoided in pregnancy, because it has been shown to cause birth defects.
- Its best to take with Food
4. HCV protease inhibitors( Boceprevir and Telaprevir )
- Work by preventing the virus from replication itself.
- Treat chronic hepatitis C genotype 1.
- They must be taken with in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin
- Side effects: Central nervous system: Fatigue ,chills, insomnia ,irritability, dizziness, and headache
- It’s best to take with food
There are currently two different pegylated interferon/ribavirin combinations, and two different HCV protease inhibitors/pegylated interferon/ribavirin combinations approved by the FDA.
HCV Protease Inhibitors
Merck’s Boceprevir (Victrelis) –tablet form treats only HCV genotype 1
Vertex’s Telaprevir (Incivek) – tablet form treats only HCV genotype 1
Merck’s pegylated interferon alfa-2b (pegIntron) is a powder that must be reconstituted before use. It’s dosed according to patient’s body weight at 1.5ug/kg/week.
Genentech’s pegylated interferon alfa-2a (pegasys) is a readymade solution regardless of weight.
Each Patient should speak to their Doctor and see which medication is right for them.