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Harvoni for hepatitis C: efficacy and side effects

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a serious, not only for its high frequency disease in our medium (the second most common hepatitis after hepatitis B), but by gravity may occur in patients who, for some reason even they are not diagnosed.

These patients will present with chronic pictures of the disease, which will increase the risk of developing liver cancer and other liver diseases such as cirrhosis . The importance of Harvoni as a medicine is that it can slow down the development of these serious effects in patients chronically infected by the Hepatitis C virus, when it is older than 6 months. At FastlyHealwe tell you more about Harvoni for hepatitis C: efficacy and side effects .

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral disease transmitted by contact through blood transfusion with contaminated blood, something rare in our environment, by sharing syringes, by sexual transmission or by vertical contagion, that is, mother-child contagion.

Something important and that many people do not know is that this disease is not spread orally: not through sneezing, sharing a room or using the same household utensils. Within the Hepatitis C group, there are also other subgroups called genotypes that, although they may have similarities to each other, are not entirely the same. Within the family of viral diseases that mainly affect the liver (hepatitis), is A, B, C, Delta and E. The importance of this disease is that its attack on the liver is very high, epidemiologically, infected people with hepatitis C are at higher risk of long-term problems such as hepatocellular cancer or liver cirrhosis, which lead to such serious damage that the only viable option currently is organ transplantation.

Harvoni for hepatitis C

Harvoni is a drug marketed by Gilead Science, which was approved by the FDA, the food and drug regulatory agency of the United States, in 2013 and since then, it has increased its sales so much that by 2015 it was already the most widely used drug in the world.

What is Harvoni

Actually in Harvoni it is the mixture of two antivirals in a capsule for daily consumption:

  • Ledispavir (inhibitor of NS5A, a protein involved in the synthesis of other proteins of the virus)
  • Sofosbuvir (an inhibitory nucleotide analog of NS5B, a vital protein in the process of duplicating the genetic material of the virus.

Harvoni: treatment and efficacy

Harvoni should be taken in daily doses, for 8 or 12 weeks, depending on the individual clinical picture of each patient. In case you forget to take the dose it should be ingested immediately after realizing it. However, if there is little left for the next dose, you should not take two doses, but continue with the next one normally. If you take more doses than those indicated, it could cause an overdose, in that case you should go to the emergency room immediately.

This drug has a very high efficacy in patients with Hepatitis C , the cure rate is 99%, close to totality, although depending on the genotype -especially in type 1-its cure rate is higher. found a cure rate of almost 100%. In addition, this drug is effective in patients in whom other medications have failed, such as protease inhibitors or decompensated cirrhosis , those who have systemic symptoms of liver infection: jaundice , esophageal variceal veins , etc. Additionally, Harvoni has been found to have low interactions with antiretrovirals used in people who have an HIV-HCV coinfection.

Harvoni side effects

It is sad to say, but one of the main side effects of Harvoni does not occur in the person but in the public coffers, something that makes it very difficult to access treatment depending on which countries . In Spain, the Harvoni treatment costs around € 13,000 and in the United States it can go up to $ 80,000, amounts accessible to a small part of the population if there is no public aid.

On the other hand, the side effects that can occur on a physical level are the following:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Sickness
  • Threw up
  • Difficulty to sleep
  • During therapy, alcohol consumption should be avoided due to the serious consequences it can have.

Other side effects may be found that should be discussed with the GP. In turn, you should avoid taking this drug under the following circumstances:

  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with kidney failure
  • People under 18 years of age.
  • Harvoni should not be taken by patients taking St. John’s wort.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Harvoni for hepatitis C: efficacy and side effects , we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests .

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