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New Treatment for Hepatitis C Infection Approved

Olysio may cut down on side effects while achieving good responses in patients, experts say

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Common side effects among patients who took the three-drug combo included sensitivity to light, itching and nausea. Some patients had severe light sensitivity that required hospitalization. Patients will be advised to limit their sun exposure and to use sun protective measures when taking Olysio with peginterferon-alfa and ribavirin, the FDA said.

Dieterich believes that patients now have more options than ever before in treating hepatitis C infection.

The approval of Olysio "represents the first once-daily protease inhibitor, which when used with interferon and ribavirin, has about an 80 percent success rate in curing hepatitis C in 24 weeks," he said. "This could be the beginning of the end for hepatitis C, if everyone that has it gets tested and treated, as the CDC recommends for baby boomers."

Olysio is marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

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