About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver and caused by the virus.
The patient often shows no symptoms and this is why the large number of the infected people is not diagnosed until a much later stage.
The untreated chronic hepatitis C infection may lead to liver scarring (fibrosis) and ultimately to cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer.
Until 2013, the common hepatitis treatment was a combination of antiviral drugs interferon and ribavirin. With a success rate about 50%, those drugs required the treatment that lasted generally between 6 and 12 months.
The serious side effects of interferon such as flu-like symptoms, hair loss, nausea, depression and low blood counts often forced the doctors to stop treating their patient before the treatment results could be seen.
In 2013-2014, a breakthrough happened in the hepatitis C treatment: FDA approved several new drug products. Among those are sofosbuvir and sofosbuvir – ledipasvir combination. The treatment duration was reduced, for most cases, to 12 weeks.
The new drugs cause very little side effects and show very high success rates. For instance, success rate of sofosbuvir-ledipasvir for genotype 1 hepatitis is about 98%.