Sofosbuvir, sold under the brand name among others, is a medication used for the treatment of hepatitis C. It is only recommended with some combination of ribavirin, peginterferon-alfa, simeprevir, ledipasvir, daclatasvir, or velpatasvir. Cure rates are 30 to 97% depending on the type of hepatitis C virus involved. Safety during pregnancy is unclear; while, some of the medications used in combination may result in harm to the baby. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include feeling tired, headache, nausea, and trouble sleeping. Side effects are generally more common in interferon-containing regimens.:7 Sofosbuvir may reactivate hepatitis B in those who have been previously infected. In combination with ledipasvir, daclatasvir or simeprevir it is not recommended with amiodarone due to the risk of an abnormally slow heartbeat. Sofosbuvir is in the nucleotide analog family of medication and works by blocking the hepatitis C NS5B protein.
Sofosbuvir was discovered in 2007 and approved for medical use in the United States in 2013. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. As of 2016 a 12-week course of treatment costs about $84,000 in the United States, $53,000 in the United Kingdom, $45,000 in Canada, and $483 in India. Over 60,000 people were treated with sofosbuvir in its first 30 weeks being sold in the United States.
Initial HCV treatment
In 2016, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America jointly published a recommendation for the management of hepatitis C. In this recommendation, sofosbuvir used in combination with other drugs is part of all first-line treatments for HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and is also part of some second-line treatments. Sofosbuvir in combination with velpatasvir is recommended for all genetypes with a cure rate greater than 90%, and close to 100% in most cases. The duration of treatment is typically 12 weeks.
Sofosbuvir is also used with other medications and longer treatment durations, depending on specific circumstances, genotype and cost-effectivenessÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢â¬Åbased perspective. For example, for the treatment of genotypes 1, 4, 5, and 6 hepatitis C infections, sofosbuvir can be used in combination with the viral NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir. In genotype 2 and 3 HCV infections, sofosbuvir can be used in combination with daclatasvir. For the treatment of cases with cirrhosis or liver transplant patients, weight-based ribavirin is sometimes added. Peginterferon with or without sofosbuvir is no longer recommended in an initial HCV treatment.
Compared to previous treatments, sofosbuvir-based regimens provide a higher cure rate, fewer side effects, and a two- to four-fold reduced duration of therapy. Sofosbuvir allows most people to be treated successfully without the use of peginterferon, an injectable drug with severe side effects that is a key component of older drug combinations for the treatment of hepatitis C virus.
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