Epclusa contains sofosbuvir 400 mg and velpatasvir 100 mg, is taken orally in tablet form for 84 days.
Generic Epclusa name is sofosbuvir velpatasvir, distributed by Asegua Therapeutics in the United States.
Some hepatitis C patients require only 8 weeks or 56 days of treatment to clear the hepatitis C virus.
Most common cure rates for sofosbuvir velpatasvir is 93% to 99%, for most people.
Hepatitis C virus have 6 genotypes; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6, all can be cured with sofosbuvir velpatasvir.
HCV genotype 1 is the most common in the United States, makes up 72% of the population with hep C.
Sofosbuvir Velpatasvir Mechanism of Action
Sofosbuvir incorporates in the hepatitis C virus RNA (like DNA) and stops the NS5B protein from replicating in the virus.
Velpatasvir blocks the protein Hs5A protein from binding to a specific site and as a result stops the replicating of the hepatitis C virus.
Both sofosbuvir and velpatasvir are direct acting antivirals, which have been a breakthrough for the treatment of hepatitis C.
The complete process is not understood but it has been show to be very effective in reducing the viral load of hepatitis C patients.
History of Sofosbuvir
In 2007, sofosbuvir was discovered by a physician and medical researcher, Michael Sofia, that was employed at Veterans Administration Medical Center and simultaneously at Pharmasset.
Gilead Sciences purchased the patent for sofosbuvir from Pharmasset for a whopping $11 billion.
They made their profits quickly by pricing Sovaldi and Harvoni for $84,000 and $78,078 respectively.
How does Sofosbuvir work?
The chemical name of sofosbuvir is L-Alanine, N-[[P(S),2′R]-2′-deoxy-2′-fluoro-2′-methyl-P-phenyl-5′-uridylyl]-, 1-methylethyl ester and a molecular formula of C22H29FN3O9P. Previously known as PS-7977 or GS-7977.
Sofosbuvir is in the nucleotide analog family that is a highly potent inhibitor of the NS5B polymerase (protein) in HCV.
Cure Rates of Sofosbuvir
Sofosbuvir cure rates are 93% to 97%, a huge triumph in hepatitis C treatment compared to what worked in the past.
Previously hepatitis C virus was treated with peg-interferon alpha which was not well tolerated for hep c patients.
Many patients said it very similar to chemotherapy, some of us know how exhausting that can be.
Today, this has been efficacious with several other drugs and peg-interferon.
Due to low side effects, high resistance to hepatitis C and oral administration has made it of special interest.
One dose of 400mg of sofosbuvir has shown tremendous results to treat hepatitis C in various genotypes.
Sovaldi (sofosbuvir 400 mg) treats hepatitis C virus genotypes 1, 2, 3 & 4 with or without weight based ribavirin.
Usually taken for 12 to 24 weeks for hepatitis C treatment.
After successful clinical trials, it was approved in 2013 in the United States to treat hepatitis C.
The caveat of this innovative treatment is it can reactivate hepatitis B in co-infected patients of HCV and HCB.
Common side effects of Sovaldi
- Fatigue – feeling tired
- Insomnia – trouble sleeping
Symptoms of Hepatitis C read here.
Sofosbuvir is Sovaldi
- Sovaldi is once a day tablet that is taken for 12 weeks or 84 days to treat genotypes 1, 2, 3 or 4. Sometimes it maybe required to be taken with ribavirin and interferon treatment.
- Please consult with your physician which treatment approach is best for you.
- Gilead also manufactures Harvoni and Epclusa, both are based of sofosbuvir molecule. The price for Harvoni is $94,000 for 12 week course and Epclusa is $78,078 for a twelve week course.
- Each drug is used for various HCV genotypes 1 through 6 to effectively treat hepatitis C.
- After completing your treatment you will be asked to take another hepatitis C test to determine what your sustained virologic response or SVR is.
- Some patients will take the SVR after 12 weeks and 24 weeks of treatment.
- The nomenclature for SVR12 means you have a sustained virologic response after 12 weeks, no HCV response in the blood test.
- Same goes for SVR24, but its 24 weeks after you have finished the treatment. Some patients do continue to check the SVR even after 2 years.
- There are cases of relapse that is usually due to reinfection or treatment was not effective.
Both, Harvoni and Epclusa have very high cure rates for most genotypes and the key ingredient plays a major role in the treating hepatitis C.
- Sofosbuvir has been a game changer in the treatment of hepatitis C. For the first time in history we have a treatment for hepatitis C with very high cure rates.
- Previously hepatitis C patients would be exhausted from only peg-alpha interferon and ribavirin therapy, only treatment available at the time.
- Thanks to Michael Sofia, Veterans Administration and Pharmasset we as a society have access to treat a very challenging infectious disease, hepatitis C.
- Although the invention of sofosbuvir has been a major breakthrough in the fight against hepatitis C, the costs are just not affordable or justifiable.
- Approximately 3 million Americans live with hepatitis C. Around the world 300 million hep C patients need the cure. WHO organization has placed sofosbuvir on the World’s Essential Medicine List.
- Many hep C patients turn to managing their disease symptoms until their insurance covers this expensive medicine.
- Some turn to a liver friendly healthy diet to manage the hepatitis C from compensating their liver.
- The fact remains sofosbuvir is expensive in the US, UK, Europe and developed countries in Asia, but in India it is less than $800.