What Is the Best Treatment for Hepatitis C?

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis. Of the Americans with hepatitis C, 70 – 90 percent have genotype 1 hep C. Chronic HCV infection often follows a progressive course over many years and can ultimately result in cirrhosis, liver (hepatocellular) cancer, and the need for liver transplantation.

Chronic hepatitis C is treatable. Yes, treatable. The goal of treatment is to eradicate the hepatitis C virus RNA, and if you have undetectable HCV RNA 6 months after treatment then we say you have achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR). An SVR is associated with a 99 percent chance of being HCV RNA negative during long-term follow-up and can therefore be considered a cure of the HCV infection. This is awesome news.

So what is the best way to cure your hepatitis C if you are genotype 1? Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) together with Olysio (simeprevir) is the best treatment for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C infection. Here is the catch. This regimen is not always affordable or available. If you and your doctor can work on getting help from the manufacturer here is why it’s the best.

  1. You don’t have to take interferon. Interferon is hard to tolerate and may cause flu-like symptoms.
  1. You take Sovaldi plus Olysio for 12 weeks and you are done.
  1. In a study of genotype 1 infected patients with either advanced fibrosis or prior non-response to peginterferon and ribavirin, the combination of Olysio (simeprevir) plus Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) resulted in effective cure rates greater than 90 percent.

Worth asking about; there are many assistance programs to help.

Dr O.

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