Hepatitis C Treatment : Hepatitis C Medications
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Hepatitis C Medications

The goal of HCV treatment is to cure the virus, which can be done with a combination of drugs. The specific meds used and the duration of treatment depend on a number of factors, including HCV genotype (genetic structure of the virus), viral load, past treatment experience, degree of liver damage, ability to tolerate the prescribed treatment, and whether the person is waiting for a liver transplant or is a transplant recipient. In some cases, HCV treatment may be limited by your health insurance plan or drug formulary.

Here's more specific information about each type, or class, of approved HCV treatment along with drugs in the late stages of development (Click here for a printable PDF version):

Multi-Class Combination Drugs
Brand NameGeneric NameStatusPharmaceutical Company
Harvoniledipasvir + sofosbuvir (GS-5885 +  GS-7977)ApprovedGilead Sciences
Technivie (Viekirax)(ombitasvir + paritaprevir + ritonavir) (ABT 267 + ABT450r)ApprovedAbbVie
Viekira Pak(ombitasvir + paritaprevir + ritonavir + dasabuvir) (ABT 267 + ABT450r + ABT 333)ApprovedAbbVie
Zepatierelbasvir + grazoprevir (MK-8742 + MK-5172)Phase III (submitted to FDA 5/2015)Merck
n/aasunaprevir + beclabuvir + daclatasvir (BMS 650032 + BMS 791325 + BMS 790052)Phase IIIBristol-Myers Squibb
n/asofosbuvir + velpatasvir (GS-7977 + GS-5816)Phase III (submitted to FDA 10/2015)
Gilead Sciences
What are they?
Multi-class combination drugs are a combination of drugs formulated into a single pill or package of pills. For instance, the drug Harvoni combines two drugs, ledipasvir and sofosbuvir. Ledipasvir is an NS5A inhibitor and is only sold as part of Harvoni; sofosbuvir may be prescribed separately under the brand name of Sovaldi.   

Pegylated Interferon Alfa
Brand NameGeneric NameStatusPharmaceutical Company
Pegasyspeginterferon alfa-2aApprovedGenentech
PegIntronpeginterferon alfa-2bApprovedMerck
What are they?
Interferon is a protein made by the immune system, named because it interferes with viral reproduction. In addition, interferon signals the immune system to recognize and respond to microorganisms, including viral and bacterial infections. Infected cells release interferon to trigger the immune response. There are three types of interferon: alfa, beta and gamma. Interferon alfa is used to treat viral hepatitis and some types of cancer. 

Nucleoside Analogs
Brand NameGeneric NameStatusPharmaceutical Company
Copegus, Moderiba, Rebetol and RibasphereribavirinApprovedGenentech, AbbVie, Merck and Kadmon
What are they?
Although it is not effective against hepatitis C when used alone, ribavirin plays an important role in HCV combination treatment. Scientists have not determined exactly how it works. However, it is clear that combining ribavirin with some of the HCV direct-acting antivirals and/or pegylated interferon boosts cure rates and reduces the risk of relapse.

NS3/4A Protease Inhibitors (PIs)
Brand NameGeneric NameStatusPharmaceutical Company
Olysio (Galexos/Sovriad)simeprevir (TMC435)ApprovedJanssen and Medivir AB
VictrelisboceprevirTo be discontinued 12/2015Merck
IncivektelaprevirDiscontinued as of 10/16/2014Vertex
What are they?
Protease inhibitors (PIs) block a protein that plays a critical role in HCV replication: They bind to the viral protease, which is responsible for processing viral proteins. Olysio is used to treat HCV genotype 1 and is taken once a day in combination with one of more HCV drugs. The first generation of HCV protease inhibitors, Incivek and Victrelis, are no longer used in the U.S.

Nucleotide NS5B Polymerase Inhibitors
Brand NameGeneric NameStatusPharmaceutical Company
Sovaldisofosbuvir (GS-7977)ApprovedGilead Sciences
What are they?
These drugs block the NS5B protein, which plays a role in the replication of HCV and is involved in creating copies of the viral RNA genome. Sovaldi is used to treat HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 and is part of a once-a-day combination pill with the NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir. Sovaldi may also be combined with other drugs, such as Daklinza, Olysio, or ribavirin, depending on various factors.

NS5A Inhibitors
Brand NameGeneric NameStatusPharmaceutical Company
Daklinzadaclatasvir (BMS-790052)ApprovedBristol-Myers Squibb
What are they?
NS5A is an HCV protein, a part of the HCV replication complex (replicase), with multiple functions in the virus's life cycle. Daklinza is used in combination with Sovaldi as a component of interferon- and ribavirin-free regimens.

Non-Nucleoside NS5B Polymerase Inhibitors
Brand NameGeneric NameStatusPharmaceutical Company
Exvieradasabuvir (ABT-333)Available as part of Viekra Pak in U.S. / Approved for individual use in EuropeAbbVie
What are they?
These drugs are active against NS5B but through a different mechanism than the nucleoside/nucleotide NS5B polymerase inhibitors described above.

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Last Revised: November 25, 2015

This content is written by the Hep editorial team.


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