Direct-acting antiviral medications for chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Treatment of hepatitis C virus has traditionally been difficult because of low rates of treatment success and high rates of treatment discontinuation due to side effects. Current standard therapy consists of pegylated interferon α and ribavirin, both of which have nonspecific and largely unknown mechanisms of action. New therapies are in development that act directly on the hepatitis C virus at various points in the viral life cycle. Published clinical trial data on these therapies are summarized in this paper. A new era of hepatitis C virus treatment is beginning, the ultimate goals of which will be directly targeting the virus, shortening the length of therapy, improving sustained virologic response rates, and minimizing side effects.
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