Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

2014 HIV/Hepatitis C Coinfection Update

February 7, 2014


Protease Inhibitors Make a First Splash

Protease Inhibitors Make a First Splash

The first wave of new HCV drugs arrived in the form of two protease inhibitors, boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivek), which were approved in the U.S. in 2011 for the treatment of HCV genotype 1. They have not yet been approved specifically for HIV-coinfected patients, however -- and Cox suggested that their day in the sun may be setting.

In clinical trials, boceprevir and telaprevir have both been shown to dramatically increase HCV treatment success rates in therapy-naive, HIV-coinfected patients. But they still must be taken with interferon, and both drugs have been found to exacerbate the adverse effects seen among patients taking interferon-based therapies. Between those sobering data and extensive drug-interaction concerns with HIV medications, "it's not easy to take these medications," Cox said.

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