Gilead Sciences’ Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) is safe and effective in treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) among individuals age 65 and up, Reuters Health reports. Publishing their findings in the journal Hepatology, researchers analyzed data on 2,293 people with hep C enrolled in four Phase III trials of Harvoni.

Twelve percent (264) of the participants were age 65 or older. Among this group, 24 were age 75 or older.

Ninety-seven percent (1,965 of 2,029) of those under age 65 achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure), as did 98 percent (258 of 264) of those age 65 and up.

The most common adverse health issues in both the older and younger age groups, experienced by at least 10 percent of participants, were headache and fatigue. The rates of individuals stopping treatment because of apparent side effects was similar in the two age groups.

Forty-five percent (1,042) of the participants were also treated with ribavirin, which increased the number of adverse health issues, treatment-related adverse health issues, and such health problems that led to a modification or termination of treatment. These effects were pronounced among elderly individuals.

Ribavirin did not increase the cure rate among the participants.  

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To read the study abstract, click here.