New shot could crack down on Hepatitis C, leading to cure

Researchers from Hannover Medical School in Germany may have discovered a cure for Hepatitis C that could eliminate the virus in as little as six weeks
By Jason Spencer | Apr 17, 2016
Scientists could be on the brink of a breakthrough when it comes to Hepatitis C. Since there are shots to to prevent Hepatitis A and B but not C, a cure for C couldn't come soon enough.

According to NDTV, a new injection has been discovered by researchers that could cure Hepatitis C in as little as six weeks. After taking a combination of the drugs sofosbuvir and ledipasvir for six weeks, patients and doctors noted that Hepatitis C had disappeared after a twelve-week checkup.

However, Hepatitis C is hard to catch in its early stages, and often when it is detected serious liver damage has already been done. Plus, sofosbuvir and ledipasvir can cause some unwanted side effects, not to mention neither run cheap.

"Given the high cost of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, and the associated side effects that occur during treatment, we set out to assess whether shortened treatment duration could be an effective option for acute Hepatitis C patients," said Katja Deterding, one of the researchers hailing from the Hannover Medical School.

Thankfully the liver damage that comes with finding Hepatitis C at a later stage isn't affected by either drug. Professor Heiner Wedemeyer, also from Hannnover Medical School, added that the side effects from sofosbuvir and ledipasvir didn't mean it was unsafe to take, and that the side effects in the long run paled in comparison to the effects of Hepatitis C.

"Our research demonstrates that not only is the combination of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir safe, well tolerated and effective in acute HCV genotype 1 patients who have severe liver disease with very high liver enzymes, but a shorter treatment duration does not appear to hinder efficacy," said Wedemeyer.

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