Telaprevir cuts hepatitis C treatment

Sept. 17, 2011 at 5:34 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A newly approved drug may cut the treatment of hepatitis C by some six months in about two-thirds of patients, U.S. researchers say.

Telaprevir, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May, and a similar medication boceprevir have nearly doubled the number of patients with sustained response, the study said.

Among patients treated with telaprevir, pegylated interferon and ribavirin in the new study, 72 percent were cured of their hepatitis C, the researchers said.

The study showed patients who are clear of the virus within the first four to 12 weeks of therapy effectively can cut their treatment time from 48 weeks to six months.

"This means that rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, we can individualize treatment for patients based on their specific response to the drugs," senior author Dr. Fred Poordad, chief of hepatology and liver transplantation at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

"Once you're cured by these antiviral drugs, you're cured of hepatitis C completely. That's a little known fact among the public -- and even among physicians who don't regularly treat liver disease."

The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
India asks Pepsi to cut down on sugar in its soft drinks
Child vaccination rates are high, CDC says
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
NIH to test safety of Ebola vaccine candidate
Trending News