The last two years have produced several studies that suggest relief for patients with advanced hepatitis C. For the latest medical news and hepatitis CEs keep reading for more from Clinical Options.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is an inflammatory disease that primarily attacks the liver. It affects over 3 million people in American and over 143 million people around the world. The majority of hepatitis C cases are in Africa and Asia where unsanitary conditions are more prevalent. Hepatitis C is spread through the use of unclean medical devices, blood-to-blood contact, and sharing needles with others who already carry the disease. In most cases, patients who no initial signs of contraction. Symptoms like dark urine, fever, and abdominal pain are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. Only a blood test can accurately determine the presence of the Hepatitis C virus. As the disease progresses, cirrhosis of the liver can lead to liver failure and liver cancer. Hepatitis C is the number one reason why patients seek liver transplants. There’s no vaccine presently that can prevent the contraction of the virus. However, medications like sofosbuvir have been very effective at curing the disease in most patients who seek early treatment, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted at the Intermountain Healthcare’s Intermountain Medical Center of Salt Lake City, monitored approximately 1,857 patients with hepatitis C. Of those patients in the trial, 623 of them were on a waitlist for a liver transplant. These patients showed the most improvement after being treated with sofosbuvir. Only 3 percent of trial participants still needed a liver transplant after receiving the new medication. Patients with advanced cirrhosis showed the most improvement.
For patients with advanced cirrhosis, sofosbuvir has the potential to eliminate their need for a transplant which is why the study leader, Dr. Michael Charlton has recommended it for advanced patients. According to Dr. Charlton, the drug will have an even greater impact on the global scale in the countries of Africa and Asia where hepatitis C has become an epidemic. Shortly after this study was published and the FDA approved sofosbuvir was approved by the FDA, the World Health Organization added it to their Model List of Essential Medicines or EML. The WHO suggests a combined treatment regime for patients with hepatitis C that used both sofosbuvir and velpatasvir. Keep up with the latest medical advances and news with hepatitis CME programs from Clinical Options.