Jun 15, 2008
Will the new therapies, that are supposed to come out in a few years be more tolerable then the current therapies? How long after getting diagnosed with chronic HCV until a person has to start therapy on average, assuming they don't drink and live an EXTREMELY healthy lifestyle? Finally, what medications are prescribed to a patient going through HCV treatment for pain, depression, sleep problems and fatigue.
Thank You Kindly
Response from Dr. McGovern
The new therapies are being studied in detail. The one in the latest stage of development is telaprevir, which is very potent. Its main side effect, as reported in the US and European research meetings is rash, which occurs in the minority of patients.
The duration of time to liver disease progression varies although you are correct to point out that alcohol can certainly change the pace of disease. It is best to get a liver biopsy or a non-invasive fibrosis test, at the very least, to determine severity of disease.
There are no good medications for fatigue, unless it is associated with significant anemia, which can be corrected by growth factors. There are several good medications for the various mood changes that can occur and drugs like trazadone can help with insomnia.
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