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Current and Future Medications for Hepatitis C (cont.)

Investigational Drugs

Various pharmaceutical companies are conducting clinical research determine efficacy and safety use of their novel compounds in treating hepatitis C in the near future per FDA approval:

BI 201335 and BI 207127 (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals) are being developed for the treatment of chronic HCV infection. BI 201335 and BI 207127 work by preventing the virus from replicating.

Thymosin alpha-1 (Zadaxin, by SciClone) is a protein that enhances the body's immune system to counteract viruses. Research is being done to determine the efficacy and safety of thymosin alpha-1 in combination with peg-interferon alfa- 2a and ribavirin for the therapy of chronic hepatitis C nonresponsive to the combination of IFN and ribavirin

ISIS 14803 (Isis Pharmaceuticals and Elan) is a nucleoside analog that disrupts the production of viral proteins during viral cell division, thereby decreasing the ability of HCV to multiplyABT450/r and ABT 267 (Abbott Pharmaceuticals) are being studied in combination with peginterferon alpha-2a and ribavirin in patients with HCV who did not respond to treatment in a previous study of standard combination therapy

Other interferons are being investigated, including recombinant interferon beta-1a (Serono Lab), omega interferon (BioMedicines), and VX-497 (Vertex Pharmaceuticals).

What lifestyle changes and home care can prevent further liver damage?

When a diagnosis of hepatitis C is made, patients are encouraged to adhere to the following recommendations to guard against further damage to the liver and prevent transmitting HCV to others:

  • Do not drink alcohol of any kind, including beer, wine, and hard liquor.
  • Avoid medicines and substances that can harm the liver, for example, large doses of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and other acetaminophen-containing preparations.
  • Eat a healthy diet balanced with fruits and vegetables.
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse to avoid transmitting HCV, and to avoid getting infected with HIV, hepatitis B, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Avoid sharing razors or toothbrushes with others.

What about liver transplantation?

For end stage liver disease, liver transplantation may be the only viable option. It is, however, not a cure. Post-transplant surgery, antiviral medical treatment usually is continued as hepatitis C viral infection often re-occurs in the new liver.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/21/2016
Pharmacy Author:

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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 170 million individuals worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV).

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