Hepatitis C infection — current and future treatments

Patients diagnosed with hepatitis C should receive treatment and most of those who do are treated successfully. This article discusses the treatments that are currently available for this condition and those that may be available in the future

by Sarah Knighton, MRPharmS, DipClinPharm

Computer model showing the secondary structure of a molecule of interferon (Tim Evans/SPL)

Patients diagnosed with hepatitis C should receive treatment and most of those who do are treated successfully. This article discusses the treatments that are currently available for this condition and those that may be available in the future

 

Summary

Virus eradication is a clinician’s primary aim when treating a patient who has been infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). This is signified by a patient achieving a sustained virological response (SVR), which is indicated by the absence of HCV RNA (see p411) in the patient’s serum six months after treatment is completed. Evidence suggests that this corresponds to virus eradication in the long-term.

Virus eradication should prevent further liver damage and associated complications (eg, hepatocellular carcinoma). Other aims of treatment include to:

  • Normalise the patient’s serum aminotransferase levels
  • Improve liver histology
  • Improve the patient’s quality of life
  • Prevent transmission of HCV

Full text article (PDF 80K)

 

Sarah Knighton is pharmacy team leader for liver services at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

 

Life-long learning questions and entry form on Hepatitis C infection

 

 

Citation: Hospital Pharmacist URI: 10043607

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