Recent HCV Drugs May Cause Fatal HBV Reactivation

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5 Oct 2016 - General

The FDA has just warned yesterday that Patients with a past or current hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection can experience sometimes fatal HBV reactivation if they take any of nine direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis virus C (HCV) infection. The new direct-acting antivirals prevent HCV from multiplying, and usually cure it.

"The mechanism through which HBV reactivation occurs with (direct-acting antivirals) is currently unknown," the FDA stated. It highlighted that clinical trials for the HCV drugs in question did not report HBV reactivation because they excluded patients infected with HBV.

It is not the first time to witness reactivation of previously resolved HBV after using direct-acting antivirals. In March, the European Medicines Agency launched a review of six direct-acting antivirals for HCV on the basis of reports of HBV reactivation in individuals infected with both viruses. And just last month, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of American issued updated guidelines that advise clinicians not to prescribe direct-acting antivirals to patients with HCV until the patients are screened for HBV.