One way to treat hepatitis C is with Mavyret, a prescription treatment that combines the two drugs glecaprevir and pibrentasvir.
Mavyret has been approved to treat adults with chronic hepatitis C without cirrhosis. Those diagnosed with compensated cirrhosis can also take Mavyret. Mavyret is used to treat all six genotypes, or strains, of hepatitis C.
How Mavyret Works
The active ingredients in Mavyret are glecaprevir and pibrentasvir, which deal with the replication ability of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Glecaprevir is an inhibitor of the protease HCV NS3/4A. This protease is what gives the hepatitis C virus the ability to replicate. Pibrentasvir, on the other hand, inhibits HCV NS5A, another essential component allowing for the replication of the virus. Mavyret works to interrupt the hep c virus’ ability to replicate, thus reducing the levels of hepatitis C in the body until they are nearly undetectable.
Potential Side Effects of Mavyret
Patients who are prescribed Mavyret may experience headache and fatigue, which have been the most reported side effects of the treatment so far.
If a side effect does not go away, it should be mentioned to your doctor.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Mavyret a black box warning, the strictest level of warning from the FDA, due to Mavyret’s potential to cause a reactivation of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Should this happen, it may result in liver failure and it may lead to death.
Before using Mavyret, patients should be tested for current or prior hepatitis B virus. Those with a previous HBV infection need to be closely monitored while on Mavyret and also after the treatment period has finished.
The risk for reactivating a prior HBV infection is increased in patients taking some immunosuppressant or chemotherapy drugs.
What to Know Before Starting Mavyret
Patients should be tested for an HBV infection before starting on Mavyret.
Before starting on Mavyret, patients should discuss with their doctors the following medical conditions:
- Having ever contracted HBV
- Other liver problems besides HCV
- Pregnancy, current or planning
- Breastfeeding, current or planning
Mavyret has never been tested for safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Women currently pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their doctor to discuss their treatment options.
Patients should talk to their doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, including vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products.
Known compounds that can impact the effectiveness of Mavyret include some immunosuppressant or chemotherapy drugs, as well as carbamazephine, efavirenz, and St. John’s wort.
One tablet of Mavyret contains 100 mg of glecaprevir and 40 mg of pibrentasvir. The recommended dose is three tablets once a day, taken with food.
The length of treatment will depend on the individual but can range from eight to sixteen weeks.
Featured image: DepositPhotos