Effective, but Not Always Safe
US Food and Drug Administration warns about the risk of hepatitis B reactivation in patients on treatment of viral hepatitis C with certain direct acting drugs. The administration received reports on 24 cases of hepatitis B reactivation in patients using state-of-art expensive drugs for treatment of viral hepatitis C infection: daclatasvir, sofosbuvir, simeprevir, ombitasvir and their combination. These are highly potent drugs with effectiveness exceeding 95%. They help decrease the viral load, preventing hepatitis C replication. However in some cases hepatitis B reactivation leads to serious liver disorders and even to patient’s death.
That is why FDA requires that packs of direct acting antiviral drugs should contain a boxed warning on the risk of hepatitis B reactivation. FDA experts insist that doctors perform screening for hepatitis B in patients considered to receive the above drugs.