Telaprevir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection

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Telaprevir is an NS3/4A protease inhibitor that has recently received US FDA approval for the treatment of chronic HCV infection. Telaprevir is given in combination with peg-IFN-α and ribavirin and is indicated for both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1 infection. Along with the other first generation NS3/4A protease inhibitor boceprevir, these combination regimens have immediately become the standard of care for genotype 1 patients. The adverse event profile for the combination regimen remains dominated by peg-IFN-α and ribavirin, but there is additional anemia and rash with telaprevir. Owing to telaprevir’s metabolism by the CYP3/4A pathway, drug–drug interactions could lead to toxicity from other medications or decreased efficacy of telaprevir. Viral resistance can develop during treatment with telaprevir, and patients will need to be educated on their role in adherence to minimize the risk of resistance and improve their chances of cure of HCV infection.

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