The Food and Drug Administration has revealed that a number of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs will require a new black box label after it was revealed that the miraculous hepatitis C cure may just as well reactivate another type of the disease. Its purpose would be to warn the possible clients that the use of those specific DAA may reactivate the dormant Hepatitis B virus (HBV) if the patient in use was to have been infected with both types.
The need for such a warning came after the FDA received notice of 24 cases of HBV reactivation after the seemingly miraculous hepatitis C cure pills were taken. As 2 of the cases have resulted in death and one in a liver transplant, the Administration fears there are more cases out there that are still not registered.
The reason for the HBV reactivation is as yet unknown, as the DAA drugs clinical trials including relatively healthy patients with no other infections so that the process went unnoticed until now.
The B and C branches of Hepatitis are quite similar as both branches are spread by the exposure to contaminated bodily fluids and usually determine the same symptoms – fatigue, jaundice or fever, to name a few – and can also remain hidden in the carrier patient’s body. This may cause silent infections, could advantage the settling in of other types of Hepatitis or even other diseases, occasion liver problems or acute disease flare-ups. As such, co-infections are not an unusual trait for these two types.
However, throughout the years, Hepatitis B has turned more manageable with the appearance of a childhood vaccine, readily available to anyone. With Hepatitis C been more resistant, it registers an annual rate of nearly twice as many cases as the aforementioned type, with the 1990’s steady decline changing course and now revealing an increase.
The appearance of the DAA drugs, first released in 2014, marked a new hope for the chronic Hepatitis C patients. Up to the DAA release, the only available medication served to slow down or contain the disease. The news drugs can not only manage the virus, it has also been shown that in over 90 percent of the cases they can effectively wipe it out, thus turning into an actual cure.
The downfalls of the miraculous Hepatitis C cure would be its quite high price and the reactivation of the HBV, but the FDA is keeping the situation at bay by not recommending a stop in the usage of the DAA. A closer surveillance of the patients currently sporting a prescription will be instated so that any new case of a flare-up and reactivation can be monitored and reported.
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