Direct-Acting Antivirals Effective for Hepatitis C in Seniors

Increased likelihood of adverse events, anemia secondary to ribavirin for those age 75 or older.
Increased likelihood of adverse events, anemia secondary to ribavirin for those age 75 or older.

HealthDay News — For older patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy is effective, according to a study published online May 25 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Chiara Mazzarelli, MD, from King's College Hospital in London, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review involving individuals aged 65 years and older treated with DAA therapy for HCV. Participants were divided into 2  cohorts: 88 aged 65 to 74 years and 25 aged 75 years and older. 

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The researchers found that the sustained virologic response rate was 97.7 and 95.8% in individuals aged 65 to 74 years and those aged 75 years and older, respectively. The likelihood of taking more than 2 medications per day for chronic conditions (84 vs 62%) and that of having clinically significant drug-drug interactions (DDIs) necessitating cessation or adjustment of medications before commencement of DAA therapy (80 vs 36%) were increased for individuals aged 75 years and older. The likelihood of experiencing an adverse event (AE) during therapy (50 vs 26%) and developing anemia secondary to ribavirin (60 vs 20%) was also increased for individuals aged 75 years and older.

"DAA therapy is highly efficacious for the treatment of HCV in older adults, but those aged 75 and older are more likely to have clinically significant pretreatment DDIs and experience AEs, including ribavirin-induced anemia, during therapy," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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