Liver transplant happens because of Hepatitis C complications. Hepatitis C is also the main reason why liver cancer happens. Hepatitis C is a very threatening disease but the good thing is, it is curable. With the advancement of medical technology comes the development of different effective Hepatitis C drugs that can kill the virus in as fast as 12 weeks. Of course, these treatments have high costs.
First treatment for Hepatitis C
When Hepatitis C was first diagnosed as a disease, certain type of medications was used to treat it. One of the most popular treatments back then that is still being used today is the use of interferon shots along with ribavirin pill. These drugs cannot kill Hepatitis C causing virus but rather it boosts the immune system so it can fight the virus. Treatment often lasts for a year or longer and positive treatment result is often below 50%. Besides, the side effects of these treatments are not good either.
New treatment for Hepatitis C
Right now, doctors are focusing on the type of Hepatitis C genotypes that causes a person to get sick before giving certain type of medication. Antivirals that are direct acting are among the kind of medicines being used. It means that it fights the virus from growing and if possible, kills it. These new drugs work in as fast as 12 weeks and it can kill the virus from the blood. The longest possible treatment can be 24 weeks.
Here are the newest drugs being used today to treat Hepatitis C
Using Daclatasvir (Daklinza)
This is the drug used in killing genotype 3 Hepatitis C virus. This is taken along with Sovalid at least once a day. The side effect of this disease is slow heart rate hence people with heart problems cannot take this drug unless advised so or a pacemaker is in use.
Elbasvir and grazoprevir (Zepatier)
This is the drug used in killing genotype 1, 4 and 6 Hepatitis C viruses. It is a pill that is taken once a day and it has mild side effect such as headache.
Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (Harvoni)
This is the drug used in killing genotype 1, 4, 5 and 6 Hepatitis C viruses. The development of this drug marked a positive revolution in the treatment of Hepatitis C. Among the side effects of this drug are diarrhea, sleep problem, stomachache and headache.
Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir (Technivie)
This is the drug used in killing genotype 1 Hepatitis C virus provided that the patient doesn’t have cirrhosis yet. It is often partnered with ribavirin but it can cause some side effects with the liver that can lead to cirrhosis or can make cirrhosis worst.
Ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir, with dasabuvir (Viekira Pak)
This is the drug used in killing genotype 1 Hepatitis C virus even if the patient has cirrhosis. This is a once a day pill. Among the side effects of this treatment are headache, having itchy skin, feeling tired and sleep problem.
Simeprevir (Olysio) and sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)
This is the drug used in killing genotype 1 Hepatitis C virus provided that is it being taken along with ribavirin.
Treating Hepatitis C is costly and is hard for most patients because they need to take multiple drugs. In time, doctors are hoping that they can come up with a single pill or injection that a patient can take to kill Hepatitis C causing virus.