Eltrombopag in patients with chronic hepatitis C and thrombocytopenia

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Eltrombopag is a thrombopoietic drug that acts by interacting with the TPO receptor and stimulates megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet production. Thrombocytopenia is a fairly frequent hematological abnormality in patients with chronic liver disease, and may represent an obstacle to interferon-based antiviral therapy in patients with chronic HCV infection who are otherwise good candidates for treatment. In large, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled studies, eltrombopag consistently enabled thrombocytopenic chronic hepatitis C patients to be treated with interferon-based therapy and, as an adjunct to antiviral therapy, has shown to be able to increase the sustained virologic response rate to treatment. The safety profile of the drug, with particular attention to the risk of thromboembolic events and the potential for hepatic decompensation, should be taken into account when planning treatment. The aim of this article is to review the information currently available regarding the pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy and side-effect profile of eltrombopag, and to assess the role of this drug into the current and future hepatitis C treatment paradigm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalFuture Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • chronic liver disease
  • HCV
  • hepatitis C virus
  • interferon
  • platelets
  • ribavirin
  • sustained virologic response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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