Current antiviral therapies for chronic hepatitis B

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Among current treatment options for chronic hepatitis B, nucleoside/nucleotide analog therapy has better tolerability and most patients respond to the therapy, while interferon (IFN) therapy has rather severe side-effects and a lower response rate. However, nucleoside/nucleotide analog therapies have problems of the emergence of drug resistance and poor sustainability of response after discontinuation. After the first nucleoside/nucleotide analog lamivudine, adefovir and entecavir are now utilized in many countries. Adefovir has efficacy for lamivudine resistant patients and current data suggests that adding adefovir to ongoing lamivudine is better than switching to adefovir in terms of viral suppression and the occurrence of resistance. Entecavir can be the first choice for naïve patients, although cross-resistance has been known for lamivudine resistant patients and mutational screening should take place before using entecavir with such patients. Many other new nucleoside/nucleotide analogs are being developed such as telbivudine, clevudine and tenofovir; the details of each drug will be disclosed in near future.

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