How is hepatitis C treated?
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The aim of treatment for hepatitis C is to eradicate the virus from the blood completely, and to protect the liver from developing cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Several medications are available to treat hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus has six different types or strains (also known as genotypes). The type and length of treatment may vary. Some hepatitis strains do not respond to antiviral medications as well as others. Some medications may not be suitable for all patients with hepatitis C, because of the side effects or the patient’s other medical conditions.
These are the medications approved for treatment of hepatitis C infection:
- Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi®): Tablet taken once a day. Used in combination with other antiviral drugs.
- Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni®): Pill taken once a day for 12 to 24 weeks, depending on how serious the disease is.
- Simeprevir (Olysio®): Capsule taken once a day with other medications called peginterferon alfa and ribavirin
- Combination of paritaprevir/ombitasvir/ritonavir/dasabuvir (Viekira Pak®)
- Daclatasvir (Daklinza®): Used in combination with other drugs
- Elbasvir/grazoprevir (Zepatier®): Tablet taken once a day
- Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa®): Tablet taken once a day
- Glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (Mavyret®): Three pills a day in one dose
- Sofosbuvir/velpastavir/voxilaprevir (Vosevi®): Tablet taken once a day
- Ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir (Technivie®): Two tablets once a day in the morning, in combination with ribavirin
IMPORTANT: Ribavirin may cause birth defects. Both men and women taking Ribavirin MUST use two forms of birth control during therapy and for up to six months after stopping therapy. Patients should be monitored by their doctors when using these drugs.