Managing Neurologic Complications of Chronic HCV Infection

Anushka Burde, PharmD; Rebecca Hoover, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

Disclosures

US Pharmacist. 2018;43(1):18-22. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can cause a multitude of extrahepatic complications, including neurologic manifestations. These complications can lead to substantial neuropsychiatric deficits, such as fatigue, cognitive impairment, restless legs syndrome, Parkinson's disease, and peripheral neuropathy. In addition to detecting and managing these neurologic complications, pharmacists in community settings can promote HCV screening, improve medication access and adherence, and recommend preventive strategies patients can use to avoid transmission of this widespread infection.

Introduction

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is widespread, and about one-half of the 3.5 million HCV-infected people in the United States are likely unaware of being infected.[1] Community pharmacists, as the most accessible type of healthcare practitioner, are optimally positioned to detect and manage HCV. They can help HCV-infected patients by engaging in appropriate screening, ensuring proper management of the infection, and recognizing extrahepatic symptoms, including neurologic complications.

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