Hepatitis C Home > Hepatitis C Medication

The four main types of medication for hepatitis C are peginterferon, ribavirin, hepatitis C protease inhibitors, and nucleotide analog NS5B polymerase inhibitors. Within hours of taking them, these drugs can start to make the amount of viruses in your blood go down. However, most people experience at least a few side effects from this combination therapy.

Hepatitis C Medication: An Overview

Four different types of drugs are used to treat hepatitis C, including:
 
  • Peginterferon
  • Ribavirin
  • Hepatitis C protease inhibitors
  • Nucleotide analog NS5B polymerase inhibitors.
 
Using two or more medications together for hepatitis C is called combination therapy. Peginterferon is sold under the brand name PEGASYS® or Peg-Intron®. Ribavirin is sold under the brand name COPEGUS® or Rebetol®. Hepatitis C protease inhibitors include boceprevir (Victrelis®), telaprevir (Incivek®), and simeprevir (Olysio™). There is just one nucleotide analog NS5B polymerase inhibitor currently available: sofosbuvir, sold under the brand name Sovaldi™. 
 
The hepatitis C virus, or HCV, is constantly making copies of itself in your liver cells. Your immune system has been working hard to fight off the virus, but since the virus is constantly multiplying, your immune system needs some help.
 
No matter which type of hepatitis C virus you have, you will need a combination of two or three different drugs to effectively treat the infection. Together, these hepatitis C medications can kill the HCV and help make your immune system stronger so it is even better at destroying the virus. When you take combination therapy, both of these things happen inside your body at the same time.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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