With continuous studies and research, pharmaceutical companies are now releasing more and more drugs that can treat Hepatitis B infection. Today, there are now 7 drugs that can be prescribed to adults while children with Hepatitis B have two drug options. These Hepatitis B drugs are all FDA approved.
7 drugs that can be prescribed to Hepatitis B patients
Intron A was also known as Interferon Alpha is a Hepatitis B treatment in the form of injectable. The usual treatment of Intron A involves administration of the drug at least 3 to 4 times a week. The treatment lasts for six months. Treatment can last more than six months though depending on the patient’s response to the drug. Taking Intron A has side effects such as headaches, flu-like symptoms, and depression. This drug can be prescribed to both adults and children. It was first used in 1991.
Pegasys or Pegylated Interferon
This injectable treatment for Hepatitis B is prescribed to adults only. It is injected into a patient as well but unlike Intron A, it is injected once a week only. Treatment is also for six months but can be longer depending on the patient’s body response to the treatment. This drug was first introduced in 2005. It has side effects such as depression and flu-like symptoms.
For Hepatitis B patients who are afraid of needles, oral medication is prescribed. Lamivudine also known as Heptodin, HBV or Zeffix is prescribed to patients to be taken once every day. Treatment using Lamivudine is for a year. Treatment can also become longer depending on patient’s body response to the medicine. This pill is prescribed to both adults and children and was initially prescribed in 1998. Side effects of this drug are minimal to none.
Hepsera or Adefovir Dipivoxil
Another pill being used in treating Hepatitis B among adult patients is Hepsera or Adefovir Dipivoxil. This oral medication needs to be taken once a day for a year or more. It is not yet legal to prescribe Hepsera or Adefovir Dipivoxil to children as clinical trials are still underway.
Baraclude or Entecavir
Baraclude is an oral medication taken by adult Hepatitis B patients. Treatment with this drug is for a year but it can be longer depending on the patient’s body response to the treatment. Clinical trial on its effect on children is still in progress. This pill was approved in 2005.
In 2006, Telbivudine was approved as a Hepatitis B drug that should be taken once a day. A treatment with this drug lasts for a year. If the Hepatitis B infection has not been cleared after a year, your doctor will decide if you should take it longer. This pill was approved in 2006
One of the newest additions to Hepatitis B treatment drugs is Tenofovir. This drug was approved in 2008. It is a once a day pill that needs to be taken for a year. If the infection has not been cleared, an extension of treatment must be done.