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Medications for hepatitis C

DAAs target different steps of HCV reproduction. These include HCV protease inhibitors, polymerase inhibitors and NS5A inhibitors. Recommended regimens include at least two drugs that work in different ways. Using a single medication alone can lead to drug resistance. Most DAAs are only available as part of a combination pill.

DAAs that are approved or nearing approval include:

  • sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)
  • daclatasvir (Daklinza) (may be combined with sofosbuvir)
  • simeprevir (Olysio) (may be combined with sofosbuvir)
  • sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni)
  • paritaprevir/ritonavir/ombitasvir (Viekirax) & dasabuvir (Exviera)
  • elbasvir/grazoprevir (Zepatier)
  • sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa)
  • glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (Maviret)
  • sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir (Vosevi).

The first-generation hepatitis C protease inhibitors, boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivo), were approved in 2011. They were only effective against HCV genotype 1 and had to be used with interferon and ribavirin. These drugs are no longer recommended.

All approved DAAs are effective against HCV genotype 1 and most are also active against genotype 4. Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir or sofosbuvir plus daclatasvir are recommended for genotypes 2 or 3. Ribavirin may be added to combinations in some circumstances, such as for people with cirrhosis or previous treatment experience, in order to improve the chance of cure. It is taken as a twice-daily pill, with the dose usually adjusted based on body weight.

Treatment with DAAs usually lasts 12 weeks. Some easier-to-treat people – such as those with HCV genotype 1b, low viral load and no cirrhosis who are being treated for the first time – can usually be cured with 8 weeks of treatment. On the other hand, people who are more difficult to treat may need to lengthen treatment to 16 or 24 weeks.

Current European treatment guidelines no longer recommend treatment that includes interferon. Nevertheless, funding restrictions in some countries, including parts of the UK, mean that interferon-based treatment remains the first-line option for previously untreated people with genotype 2. Some people with genotype 3 may also be treated with interferon on grounds of cost.

Newer drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C, such as the combinations of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (Maviret) and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir (Vosevi) may become available in some parts of the UK in 2018, subject to funding arrangements.

HIV & hepatitis

Published December 2017

Last reviewed December 2017

Next review December 2020

Contact NAM to find out more about the scientific research and information used to produce this booklet.

Hepatitis information

For more information on hepatitis visit infohep.org.

Infohep is a project we're working on in partnership with the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) and the World Hepatitis Alliance.

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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.