Chronic Hepatitis C Infection: Basic Knowledges, Drugs and Therapeutic Guidelines

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Somwang Janyakhantikul


Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is one of the main problems in public health as vaccine is not yet available for prevention the disease, and patients who do not receive therapy may experience cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Drugs using in standard therapy (peginterferon-a and ribavirin) show different effects on individuals, and many patients have to discontinue the drugs due to their toxicities. Currently, a number of drugs in the new class of anti-hepatitis C virus (direct-acting antivirals; DAAs) have been developed and some are already approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency. This new class of drug has high efficacy. Therapeutic guidelines for chronic hepatitis C virus infection, therefore, have been changed. This article reviews the structure of hepatitis C virus, epidemiology, diagnosis and the goals of therapy, peginterferon-a and ribavirin treatment, factors that affect to therapeutic response (including pharmacogenetics in chronic hepatitis C virus infection), direct-acting antivirals and the update of therapeutic guidelines.


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