What is Harvoni®

What is Harvoni®



Hepatitis C is an infection in the liver caused by the presence of the virus called HCV or hepatitis C virus. Just as there are different blood groups, this disease is also categorized into genotypes numbered from 1 through 6. According to statistics, about 75% of the HCV affected patients have are diagnosed with the genotype 1 HCV. There are no vaccinations available in the case HCV and can only be prevented from cautious activities when near already affected patients. It can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected fluids, or sharing needles as the disease can spread through physical contact.

There are many drugs that are prescribed by specialists who treat for HCV. One among those is Harvoni® which is a suitable drug for HCV genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6. HARVONI® is a combination of two antiviral medications named ledipasvir and sofosbuvir. These prevent the multiplication of the Hepatitis C virus within the body.

Before the physician is prescribing the medicine to HCV affected person, he/she will consider several factors like the treatment history in case he has already been treated for this disease, level of virus within the body, allergies to any of the components in the drug and extent of damage to the liver. In case this medicine has to be combined with another drug called ribavirin, it might affect pregnancy. The drug when prescribed separately does not affect the unborn baby and does not pass on to the infants through breast milk. Also it is not researched whether this drug is safe for children below the age of 18 years. The prescribed dosage for the drug is one pill a day and the most commonly suggested treatment cycle is a period of 12 weeks and the patients is advised to take the medicine at the same time every day.

Harvoni® is Most Expensive in the US

Amongst the various drug treatments available, the price of Harvoni® is the highest in the US. GoodRx provided a comprehensive review of the prices of this Harvoni® medicine available in various drug stores across the country. According to the list, as of November 2016, the price of a single 28-pill bottle in various pharmacies is as follows: $31,476.50 in Kroger Pharmacy, $32,232.80 at Target (CVS), $32,517.20 at Safeway, $33,275.30 at Walmart, and so on. Since a standard 12-week treatment requires the use of 3 bottles, the overall cost of the drug crosses over $90,000 on average. A useful tip while buying the drug is to compare the prices and then choose the right option as by just picking the right pharmacy, you can still save almost $10,000. The overall expense is still high and since the cost of the Sovaldi pill, which was administered before Harvoni® came in, was about $1000 per pill and about $50,000 per treatment, it further raises questions on the hefty price of the Harvoni® drug.

Hepatitis C Treatment In India- Just $900

No place in the world is better than India when it is about buying Harvoni®. The medicine is affordable in India due to number of manufactures of generic Harvoni® and low income rate in the country. For one bottle of Gilead’s Sovaldi, patients have to pay just $300 or $900 for the treatment course.

Many developed countries around the globe sell hepatitis C drugs at high rates. This is because they don’t have access to low-cost manufacturer and there are many people affected with the disease. In some countries, like the US, the hepatitis C treatment cost goes over $80,000. But in India, the same treatment can be got under $1,000. Many companies in India have started selling the generic versions of Harvoni® at low costs which are attracting medical tourists from all across the globe. In addition, Indian government is also negotiating with these pharmaceuticals companies to provide Harvoni to hepatitis C patients at much lower prices than they were a few years ago.

Dealing With Side Effects and Interactions

Hepatitis C medication cannot be avoided as there is no alternate line of treatment. However, you can do the following to be able to deal with side effects better and avoid them. Harvoni is a popular medicine for Hepatitis C and has minimal side effects. Some of them to mention are headache, weakness and nausea.
You can avoid fever after interferon if you take Tylenol half an hour before interferon. Also prefer taking your interferon shot at bedtime. Talk to your health advisor about it.
If your medicine is causing gastrointestinal, stomach disorders, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pains, eat smaller portions of food and consume only fresh and healthy diet. Avoid spicy, fried and fast food. Take your medicine with your meals.
If you think your medicine is causing depression, talk to your doctor about it. Regular exercises and walking, yoga and meditation can also help to keep you relaxed. If things get worse, get antidepressant prescribed from your doctor.
Skin problems
If you are developing skin irritation, rashes or itching, start using moisturizing soaps and lotions. Avoid swimming and hot baths as it tends to dehydrate the skin.
Hair fall
If you face hair fall or hair loss, use herbal and mild shampoo and avoid hair treatments and chemicals.
Metallic taste
If you face any problems such as metallic taste, dry mouth or mouth sores, try lemon candies and mouth fresheners. Also keep yourself hydrated.

Sometimes it can get difficult, but you have to put up with these side effects in order to get completely cured from Hepatitis C. please continue with your treatment and try to avoid, prevent and ignore the side effects but keep your doctor updated about the side effects you are facing.

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