What is the future of ribavirin therapy for hepatitis C?

Christopher Koh, T. Jake Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

With the introduction of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, the field is rapidly evolving towards interferon-free regimens with high sustained virologic response (SVR) rates. The ultimate goal of therapy in chronic HCV infection should include an easily dosed all-oral regimen that is highly effective, inexpensive, pan-genotypic, safe and tolerable, with minimal to no resistance. Various investigational DAA regimens are currently under evaluation with and without ribavirin (Rbv). With the projected arrival of improved therapies over the next 5 years, the future role of Rbv comes into question. Despite being plagued by the lack of understanding of its mechanism of action and significant side effects such as anemia, Rbv has been a part of the standard-of-care therapies in chronic HCV infection for more than 10 years. As we look towards the future HCV therapy, Rbv may still have utility in the care of patients infected with HCV because of its low cost and potentially added value in combination with other DAAs. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on "Hepatitis C: next steps toward global eradication."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalAntiviral Research
Volume104
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antiviral therapy
  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Direct-acting antivirals
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Ribavirin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Pharmacology

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