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Sofosbuvir, an oral nucleotide polymerase inhibitor, plus Ribavirin for the treatment of HCV infection


The standard treatment for hepatitis C virus ( HCV ) infection is Interferon, which is administered subcutaneously and can have troublesome side effects.
Researchers have evaluated Sofosbuvir ( Sovaldi ), an oral nucleotide inhibitor of HCV polymerase, in Interferon-sparing and Interferon-free regimens for the treatment of HCV infection.

Investigators provided open-label treatment to eight groups of patients. A total of 40 previously untreated patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection were randomly assigned to four groups; all four groups received Sofosbuvir ( at a dose of 400 mg once daily ) plus Ribavirin for 12 weeks.
Three of these groups also received Peginterferon alfa-2a for 4, 8, or 12 weeks.
Two additional groups of previously untreated patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection received Sofosbuvir monotherapy for 12 weeks or Sofosbuvir plus Peginterferon alfa-2a and Ribavirin for 8 weeks.
Two groups of patients with HCV genotype 1 infection received Sofosbuvir and Ribavirin for 12 weeks: 10 patients with no response to prior treatment and 25 with no previous treatment.

The rate of sustained virologic response 24 weeks after therapy was reported.

Of the 40 patients who underwent randomization, all 10 ( 100% ) who received Sofosbuvir plus Ribavirin without Interferon and all 30 ( 100% ) who received Sofosbuvir plus Ribavirin for 12 weeks and interferon for 4, 8, or 12 weeks had a sustained virologic response at 24 weeks.

For the other patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection, all 10 ( 100% ) who received Sofosbuvir plus Peginterferon alfa-2a and Ribavirin for 8 weeks had a sustained virologic response at 24 weeks, as did 6 of 10 ( 60% ) who received Sofosbuvir monotherapy.

Among patients with HCV genotype 1 infection, 21 of 25 previously untreated patients ( 84% ) and 1 of 10 with no response to previous therapy ( 10% ) had a sustained virologic response at 24 weeks.

The most common adverse events were headache, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, rash, and anemia.

In conclusion, Sofosbuvir plus Ribavirin for 12 weeks may be effective in previously untreated patients with HCV genotype 1, 2, or 3 infection. ( Xagena )

Gane EJ et al, N Engl J Med 2013; 368:34-44

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