For people with opioid use disorder (OUD) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), treating the two conditions at the same time is associated with manifold benefits, Healio reports.
Elana Rosenthal, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute of Human Virology, and colleagues conducted a prospective, open-label observational study called ANCHOR that included 100 people with OUD and HCV who engaged in ongoing injection drug use.
The participants, who were recruited for the study at a harm reduction drop-in center in Washington, DC, were offered buprenorphine, a form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to treat OUD, as well as 12 weeks of Epclusa (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir) for HCV.
Eighty-two percent of the participants achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy, considered a cure. Their likelihood of being cured was not associated with whether they were taking MAT upon entering the study, took drugs while receiving Epclusa or had imperfect adherence to the HCV drug regimen. However, those who completed two or more bottles of Epclusa and were on MAT at week 24 of the study were more likely to be cured of the virus.
At the study’s outset, 67 of the participants were not taking MAT; 53 of them then started. At week 24, 68 of the participants were taking MAT. Taking MAT at that point was associated with having fewer positive drug screens for opioids during the study, a lower rate of behaviors associated with HIV transmission and a lower rate of opioid overdose.
To read the Healio article, click here.
To read the study abstract, click here.