Victrelis Approved for Chronic Hepatitis C05/16/11
MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Victrelis (boceprevir) has
been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat
chronic hepatitis C, in tandem with the two additional drugs,
pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin.
Victrelis was evaluated in a pair of clinical trials involving
1,500 adults. Among those who used the three-drug combination, more
had a sustained virologic response than people who used pegylated
interferon alfa and ribavirin alone, the FDA said in a news
release. Sustained virologic response was achieved when the
hepatitis C virus was no longer detected in the blood six months
after stopping treatment.
Some 3.2 million people in the United States have chronic
hepatitis C, the FDA said, citing U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention statistics. The viral infection causes inflammation
of the liver, which can lead to reduced liver function and liver
failure. Most people with the disease have no symptoms until the
onset of liver damage, the agency said.
Victrelis is taken three times daily with food. Common adverse
reactions include fatigue, anemia, nausea, headache and taste
The drug is marketed by Merck & Co., based in Whitehouse
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