Medications available for Hepatitis C
Contraindications for medications:
- mental and neurologic disorder
- alcohol/drug abuse
- low hemoglobin level or blood cell counts
Main drugs used in treatment:
Credits (left to right):
- Pegylated interferon alpha:
- Interferon alpha is
a protein in the body manufactured in response to viral infections.
It is used to treat leukemias, other cancers and MS as well.
- Pegylation is the
chemical process that interferon goes through so that it will last
longer in the body.
- Given once a week,
this medicine maintains steady levels in the blood between doses.
- Administered as a
- Little effect without interferon
- Taken twice daily in pill form
- More effective than interferon alone
- Duration depends on strain
- Genotype 1 and 4: treatment is 48 weeks long
- Genotype 2: treatment is 24 weeks long
- Possible side effects of interferon:
- low hemoglobulin levels
- low blood cell counts
- muscle aches
- weight loss
- Possible side effects of ribavirin:
- skin rash
- sinus congestion and cough