October 5, 2010

Hepatitis C Drugs Rated By Consumer Reports

10/4/2010 11:44 AM ET

(RTTNews) - Consumer Reports has published recommendations regarding two drugs used in the treatment of Hepatitis C.

Consumer Reports analyzed the evidence for PegIntron and Pegasys, and found that neither has been shown to be more effective than the other. The magazine said that the two drugs do vary considerably, however, when it comes to price.

PegIntron could save consumers hundreds to thousands of dollars over Pegasys, depending on the dose and length of treatment.

The pegylated interferons can help eliminate the virus from the body, but they are very expensive, costing between $15,000 and $30,000 for a course of treatment.

These drugs can also cause a wide range of side effects, Consumer Reports points out, including flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches, fever, fatigue, depression, diarrhea, nausea, and rashes or other skin-related problems. Life-threatening or fatal problems are rare but include suicide, relapse of drug abuse or overdose and liver failure.

Hepatitis C, which afflicts an estimated four million people in the U.S., can lead to liver damage and death. It is contracted by exposure to contaminated blood and other bodily fluids.

by RTT Staff Writer

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