Hepatitis C and direct-acting antivirals

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Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been progressively evolving during recent years. Until last year, the combination of pegylated interferon-α (PEG-IFN-α) and ribavirin (RBV), which ensures sustained virological response (SVR) rates of 45% in genotype 1-infected patients and 80% in those infected with genotypes 2 and 3, represented the standard of care. In 2011, boceprevir and telaprevir, 2 new drugs belonging to the category of protease inhibitors, were introduced. The 2 drugs, licensed only for the treatment of patients with chronic genotype 1 infection and used in triple combination with PEG-IFN- α and RBV, largely contributed to the increase of response rates. Considering the high complexity of the triple regimen, a complete adherence is necessary in order to avoid a loss of therapeutic efficacy or selection of resistant mutants. In many European countries, triple therapy has become the new standard of care for HCV genotype 1-infected patients, either naive or previously treated. In fact, phase III studies using these drugs have shown the higher efficacy of the triple treatment versus the standard one in both these categories of patients. Moreover, a response-guided treatment (RGT) strategy has been proved effective in individualizing treatment duration with the triple combination. Regarding treatment safety, anemia and skin rash are the most common side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalHot Topics in Viral Hepatitis
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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