New drugs cure Hepatitis C without side effects

August 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne viral infection in the US, affecting more than 4 million people. The deadly disease can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Now there is a new era of Hepatitis C drugs that could cure the disease, without side effects.

For Linda Cornwall gardening is a creative release, but Linda never would have imagined the viral seed that had taken root inside of her. Despite having no risk factors, she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

"I was shocked to say the least," Linda Cornwall said

The standard treatment, injections of interferon, it's an immune stimulant that can lead to severe anemia and rash.

"The risk was worse than the disease," Linda Cornwall said.

Now a new class of interferon-free drugs, known as Direct Acting Anti-Virals could treat Hepatitis C without the side effects. Doctor Paul Thuluvath says the different D.A.A combinations are in phase two and phase three trials.

"Most likely it will end up with two drugs combined into one pill. So they'll take one pill a day for three months, we will cure 95 percent of hepatitis C," Doctor Paul J. Thuluvath, M.D., at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, said.

After taking part in one of the trials, Linda has good news.

"I just found out today I'm still undetectable. After three months off the medication. And I had no side effects; absolutely none."

The new drugs could be on the market by 2015. People with Hepatitis C can sometimes take decades to show symptoms, about 75 percent of those with the disease don't know they have it and most of them are baby boomers. New CDC guidelines recommended anyone born between 1945 and 1965 to get tested, even if you have no known risk factors.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Sara Steffen Mercy Medical Center 410-332-9067 ssteffen@mdmercy.com


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