Combination medications

 

These are treatments for Hepatitis C, usually orally taken pills, which combine two or more drugs into a single pill, or sometimes several pills which are taken daily, without the need for interferon injections. So far there is only one combination treatment accepted for restricted use in Scotland, a combination of Gilead Science's Polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir and NS5a inhibitor ledipasvir, marketed as Harvoni. Abbvie have submitted an application for a combination therapy of its' own for which a decision is expected in June 2015. You can keep up to date with the progress of this submission here.

 

Harvoni

What is it and who is it for?

Harvoni is an oral medication taken as a single pill either with or without food once daily. It is accepted for restricted use in Scotland for treatment of those with Hepatitis C genotypes 1 and 4, and for those with genotype 3 who have cirrhosis or have previously had unsuccessful treatment. Dependent on certain factors such as genotype and whether you have previously had unsuccessful treatment, you may also be prescribed ribavirin.

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment will normally last for either 12 or 24 weeks, but may be as little as 8 weeks depending on a variety of factors, such as genotype and whether you have compensated/decompensated cirrhosis. 8 weeks of treatment will only be considered if you have genotype 1 infection, do not have cirrhosis and have not previously received treatment.

Are there any side effects?

There can be some side effects from Harvoni but they tend to be fairly minor and won't affect everyone. Some reported side effects include headache, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, irritability, coughs and rashes. Side effects increased for those also prescribed ribavirin.

 

Viekirax

What is it and who is it for?

Viekirax is an all oral medication consisting of two pills taken orally once a day with or without food. It is accepted for use in Scotland for treatment for Hepatitis C genotype 1 and alongside ribavirin for genotype 4. The first pill is a combination of two protease inhibitors paritaprevir and ritonavir, NS5A inhibitor ombitasvir and non nucleoside polymerase inhibitor dasabuvir.

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment with Viekirax will normally last between 12 and 24 weeks depending on genotype.

Are there any side effects?

There can be some side effects from Viekirax but they are usually mild and not everyone will experience them. Reported side effects include fatigue, headache, nausea, pruritus, insomnia, diarrhoea, asthenia (weakness) and dyspnoea (shortness of breath).

Hepatitis C Scotland

http://www.hepcscotland.co.uk

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