Medicines for HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) Infection

There are several medications available for Hepatitis according to its type but first, we have to understand what is hepatitis, types of hepatitis, stages and then we go to the medicines available in the market online as well as offline.

Hepatitis is a liver infection caused by the virus called hepatitis.

Types of Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis D
  • Hepatitis E

Here we focus on Hepatitis C. So, let's start...

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus and a major cause of liver cancer. Unfortunately, there is currently no effective vaccine against HCV.

According to the CDC (Centers from Disease Control and Prevention), there are 6 HCV genotypes, and 50+ subtypes, have been identified.

Stages of HCV

Incubation Period

The incubation period is the time between first exposure to the start of the disease from 14 - 80 days.

Acute Hepatitis C

Acute hepatitis C is a short-term illness for the first 6 months after the virus enters your body. After that, the virus goes away on its own.

Chronic Hepatitis C

If the virus does not go away on their own and also your body doesn’t clear the virus, it becomes a long-lasting infection and can lead to serious health problems like liver cancer or cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis

This can leads your healthy liver cells with scar tissue and usually takes 20 - 30 years.

Liver Cancer

Cirrhosis makes your liver cancerous.

Symptoms of HCV

In starting, there are no symptoms but between 2 weeks to 6 months you can notice the following symptoms:-

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Itchy skin
  • Weight loss
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clay-colored poop
  • Swelling in your legs

Symptoms of Acute HCV

  • Ascites and edema
  • Gallstones
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Easy bleeding
  • Encephalopathy
  • Kidney failure
  • Vomiting blood
  • Intense itching
  • Spider-like veins on the skin

How Do You Get HCV

  • Blood contaminated with HCV
  • Sharing needles
  • Having sex
  • Birth (From mother to child)
  • Sharing personal items (razor, and nail clippers, etc...)
  • Tattoo or piercing

HCV Testing and Diagnosis

A rapid test is done to find out if your body has Anti-HCV antibodies to make sure if you are infected or not. If your test is positive then you have another test called HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) RNA (RiboNucleic Acid) PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)- A blood test that measures the level of the hepatitis C virus in the bloodstream).

Liver Function Tests

This test is performed to measure proteins and enzyme levels because the liver has damaged and enzymes leak into your bloodstream.

Treatment and Medications for HCV

If you have acute HCV then there is no specific treatment for you as this goes away on itself but having chronic HCV is serious trouble. Several medications are available to treat it. Some of them are listed here:

  • Interferon
  • peginterferon
  • Ribavirin
  • Daclastasvir (Daklinza)
  • Sofosbuvir-velpatasvir (Epclusa, Sovihep V Tablets, MyHep All Tablets, Hepcvel Tablets, Velasof Tablets,Velpaclear Tablets, Resof Total Tablets)
  • Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni)
  • Glecaprevir and pibrentasvir (Mavyret)
  • Ribavirin (Copegus, Moderiba, Rebetol, Ribasphere, Virazole)
  • Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) with interferon and ribavirin
  • Ombitasvir-paritaprevir- ritonavir (Technivie)
  • Ombitasvir-paritaprevir-dasabuvir-ritonavir (Viekira Pack)
  • Sofosbuvir-velpatasvir-voxilaprevir (Vosevi)
  • Elbasvir-grazoprevir (Zepatier)