Current Therapies for Chronic Hepatitis C

McKenzie C. Ferguson, Pharm.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2011;31(1):92-111. 

In This Article


Treatment of patients with chronic HCV should be individualized, with consideration given to prevention of transmission, risk factor modification as appropriate, adverse events and tolerability, adherence, and avoidance of complications. Current practice guidelines published by the AASLD represent the evidence-based standard for management of HCV. Currently, peginterferon and ribavirin represent the standard of care for treatment of chronic HCV. A surrogate marker for clinical outcomes in HCV is SVR. Of the two available pegylated interferons, both are equally efficacious in attaining SVR. Duration of therapy is guided by HCV genotype and virologic response. Because of the high rates of RVR and SVR, patients with genotype 2 or 3 can be treated for 24 weeks. Those with genotype 1 or 4 require 48 weeks' duration of treatment. In all patients undergoing treatment, appropriate monitoring for serious treatment-related adverse effects must be conducted. Hematologic abnormalities, including anemia and neutropenia, may require a reduction in dosage or withdrawal from treatment. New therapies in development for treatment of HCV have the potential to reduce adverse effects and improve outcomes. Special populations, including patients coinfected with HIV, patients with severe chronic kidney disease, injection drug users, pregnant women, and pediatric patients should be closely monitored to prevent HCV-related morbidity and mortality.


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