The combination of drugs in a single tablet can give new hope to patients with hepatitis C, especially in patients who do not respond to current therapies.
The study, published online in The Lancet, November 5 shows this pill combines two drugs whose status is still in clinical trials and have not received permission to be marketed to the public. Both of these drugs are sofobuvir and ledipasvir. In clinical trials, this drug combination eliminates hepatisis C virus (HCV) in almost all patients who eat them.
“Ninety-five percent of patients with hepatitis C who had undergone therapy, and taking combination tablets sofosbuvir / ledipasvir for eight weeks, recovering from HVC. In these patients no longer found to be HCV 24 weeks after treatment ends. Similarly, in patients undergoing other therapies before, and consume sofosbuvir / ledipasvir for 12 weeks, 95 percent cured, “said study researcher Dr. Eric Lawitz, a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Hepatitis C, if not treated, can cause fatal damage to the liver. However, most people recently infected with hepatitis C without experiencing certain symptoms. Though the virus causing long-term damage, especially hurt the liver, a condition called cirrhosis.
New therapy with this drug combination is expected to treat patients with hepatitis C. However, this drug combination therapy has side effects due to the addition of interferon and proteases. This new therapy also requires complex drugs, including pills and injections.
Less than half of hepatitis C patients can undergo this combination therapy. These patients had no other treatment options.
“We have no other choice. Such paints bleak picture for these patients,” said Dr. David Bernstein, head of the division of hepatology at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York.
Lawitz explained, sofosbuvir and ledipasvir an agent of direct intervention into the life cycle of the hepatitis C virus
The researchers combined these two drugs in one tablet taken once daily. The study involved 100 patients with hepatitis C to try this new therapy. Including 60 patients who never therapy and 40 patients who did not successfully cured with current therapies. Some patients also taking ribavirin, the current standard therapy, in addition to the drug combination.
Of a number of these patients, more than half of which had undergone therapy, experienced cirrhosis.
In 12 weeks, almost all patients are in a condition called the medical term virologic response or SVR settled. In these conditions, the virus is gone and prevent replicate. Functionally cured patients.
“We try to cure the patient (which are numerous) with simple oral medication, a pill once a day with no side effects,” said Bernstein.
However, these studies also indicate health problems in some patients especially those taking ribavirin. The most common side effects are nausea, anemia, upper respiratory tract infection, headache. Even so, doctors assess mostly do not experience this problem, so that none of the patients who had to discontinue therapy because of this side effect.
According Lawitz, hepatitis C therapy is constantly changing. “We move from treatment with injections into the era of combination therapy with oral pill that promises a cure,” he explained.
However, this drug combination therapy is still in the evaluation phase, three-phase clinical trials. So it is still too early to say this therapy has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, or to find out how much it costs.
Because hepatitis C appears without symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States recommend that adults who were born in 1945 to 1965, to examine the hepatitis C virus