Each week we will aim to bring out a concise email that provides 4-5 key pieces of information addressing a specific issue in clinical therapeutics.
This week: Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents for Hepatitis C
Csilla Burt, Clinical Pharmacist, Ward MM
Hepatitis C is a major cause of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer. More than 90% of infections with Hepatitis C are asymptomatic. Anyone at risk of contracting a blood-borne infection should be tested for hepatitis C. It is essential that all people with chronic infection are identified so that treatment can be provided.
- All healthcare providers with potential contact with blood or body fluids should use standard precautions.
- New direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) for the treatment of hepatitis C infection are a major advance in medical care.
- Approximately 95% of patients will be cured with a short course of treatment with DAAs of 8-12 weeks duration.
- All regimens can potentially interact with concomitant drugs including PPI’s and statins and a full review of all prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines is essential to ensure appropriate drug serum levels are reached to facilitate a “cure”.
- These new treatments are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and will be increasingly prescribed over the next 2-5 years.
Please consider these issues when preparing or interpreting RMMR reports or education sessions. Contributions of content or suggested topics are welcome and should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.