New Hope for Hepatitis C Treatment
Hepatitis C is an infectious viral disease whose victims are typically asymptomatic. The infection targets the liver, which leads to cirrhosis, then to liver failure or liver cancer. Leading carries of the virus are infected blood, intravenous drugs, and sexual fluids. Despite the severity of this disease, an effective vaccination has yet to be developed. However, HealthDay News reports possible success at treating the virus through a specific combination of old and experimental drugs.
Many Hepatitis C patients today are on Interferon, a drug attributed to harsh side effects. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association tested a regimen of Ribavirin, a preexisting drug, and the experimental drug Sofosbuvir. Trial subjects consisted of patients usually unqualified for other clinical trials, who did not react favorably to the current Hepatitis C treatment regimens because their health was already in critical condition from liver damage. Of the 60 patients studied, 48% to 68% were successfully rid of the virus. Experts and officials are optimistic about this trial and look forward to further studies to perfect the treatment.