News About Hepatitis C Drugs

January 2, 2012

The excitement of new Hepatitis C drugs has been taken back with the news that one (and possibly several others with similar chemical structures) causes liver toxicity. The toxicity could affect new products in testing at 3 of 4 pharmaceutical companies testing new Hepatitis C drugs.

About Hepatitis C:

Hepatitis C is a virus that causes liver damage. While about 90% of people exposed to the virus will not contract it, those who do suffer a chronic infection.

Early Hepatitis C symptoms resemble the flu, so it can “silently” cause damage to the liver over decades before severe symptoms begins to show. (This is why a Hepatitis C treatment that further damages the liver is such a disaster).

How Can You Get Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is highly contagious, the tiniest drop of blood can be a source of transmission. It’s recommended not to share razor blades or toothbrushes, since both can cause and be exposed to micro cuts that can be a source of infection.

People in high risk environments, like health care, should get tested regularly (it take 6 months, on average, for Hep C to be detectable). New recommendations suggest that anyone born between 1945-65 should get tested for Hepatitis C.

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