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What are the effects of alcohol when taking Harvoni?

22 Answers

tklim1 13 Feb 2019

For your own benefit and health, lay off the alcohol at least during treatment. Then try giving it up altoger. It's the worst thing for a damaged liver. Whatever it takes.
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Votes: +0
Tobyreed72 28 Oct 2018

I get so frustrated and so pissed with people on these forums, no one EVER just answers the question, everyone trys to give opinions, never straight hard FACTS!!! I always feel sorry for the guys who ask these questions, why even bother answering when your opinion hasn't been asked for? Mind your f'ing business I say, leave the "opinions" to the health professionals (none of you clearly are or you'd have been able to give a straight answer) and in future, if some poor soul has been desperate enough to ask an on line community a very personal question JUST GIVE A STRAIGHT ANSWER!!! (You won't get one from me, I was desperate enough to come on here for an answer to the same

Votes: +1
Stephen Treloar 29 Oct 2018

And I would say that in my experience that it made no difference. Alcohol had no impact at all and a cure is a cure. I am in no way a medical professional but am stating a fact that applied to me.

LC54 3 Sep 2017

Harvoni causes extreme fatigue... although my doctor said I could have up to seven drinks per week, I tried twice to have wine on a Friday night with disastrous results. I had three glasses and room went spinning.. the second time I fell and hit my head.. so not worth it..
I've discovered that I feel much better without alcohol completely
Hope this helps

Votes: +0
Colin May 25 May 2017

Your not going to be able to find a definitive answer to this question because no tests have ever been conducted by Gilliad to wether or not alcohol consumption impedes Harvoni from doing what its supposed to do. All you can go on is testimony from people that have taken the chance and had a few drinks during treatment, but since ever body is different and everyone can react differently to different drugs, even that wont give you a definitve answer. So stop already with the "stop preaching and just give me a definitive awnser" because there isnt one, no matter how many forums you post it on, how many doctors you ask, or how many Harvoni patients you ask.

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Likmany on here, I am a VERY VERY moderate drinker. I have maybe one or two beers a week, if that, but I personally decided NOT to drink a single drop of alcohol during my treatment. I also chose not to use any antacids, even tho they say you can as long as you take them 4 hours after you take the Harvoni drug. I wasnt taking any chances whatsoever with my treatment and taking 3 months off of drinking, when I am not even a big drinker, was not only easy peasy, it was just the smart thing to do in my book. As for other people, each person has to make that choice themselves. If you want to drink a couple glasses of wine, a couple beers, or even a fifth of vodka... well, that choice is yours. Stop looking for doctors to give you the go ahead for doing so as again, none of them have the abaility of knowelge to do so. And considering nobody has a definitive answer as to wether or not alcohol effects Harvoni treatment, it is a risk drinking while taking it. There is always a risk with the unknown. If you cant stop drinking for 8-12 weeks to ensure your Hep C free for the rest of your life, then Hep C might not be your only problem.

Votes: +0
Jupiter12 25 April 2017

Ed Barry, before taking Harvoni I went online to seek an answer to this same question. All the sermonizing (instead of actual experiences) in response to this question made me determined to return to this board after treatment and answer truthfully what happened to me. I knew I would probably be drinking here and there while on treatment, and my doctor said a little alcohol was fine while on Harvoni. I drank moderately several times a week (2-3 glasses of wine or beer per day) throughout treatment, and as of my labs last week 1 month post-treatment, I remain HCV-free.

I'm not condoning alcohol use while on Harvoni. It is better to avoid it for all the obvious reasons. However, the fact is I did drink pretty regularly on Harvoni, I never felt any side effects, and according to my doctor, since I am virus-free 1-month post-treatment, that correlates to a 99% cure rate. Those are the facts in my particular case. Good luck with your treatment!

Votes: +0
Lguapo 10 May 2017

OK great.. this has been interesting reading..finger waving & moralistic scoldings aside. I just got approved for treatment. Just 3 years ago it would of cost me $32K out of pocket..now with things being what they are probably $50 +/- unfnbelievable. Ok I'm stage 2 and altho I was told what my Viral Load was I dont remember but certainly not in the Millions like some. Very little "scarring". My new Dr said "I musta not been much of a boozer" I about blew up thinking to myself..Musta been? LOL. Some would call me a functional alcoholic , my cocktails of Vodka and Diet Sprite come in Bubba Mugs and I like whisky my on the weekends. I want to slow down on my 8 week treatment & I can to maybe a Bar sized cocktail an evening except weekends where the Bubba Mug will have to come into play. I'll keep you all up todate on my results. Just for the record I was a junkie 30 years ago so that pretty much narrows down how I got it.

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I'm 57 and wished I lived in Colorado but since I don't this is my last Vice I have and like some one wrote very early on.. paraphrasing "If I'm going to die I'd rather live life on my own terms" but I'm willing to give almost sobriety a shot..wish me luck guys..If I'm cured I'm going to buy me some Rip Van Winkle whisky and love every minute of it!

Lguapo 10 May 2017

found this
Research is not conclusive regarding alcohol consumption and increased viral loads. In fact, when this topic is investigated via a meta-analysis methods, the following is noted:

"Alcohol has no effect on hepatitis C virus replication: a meta-analysis"

'Abstract

Background: Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who consume large quantities of alcohol have more severe liver disease compared with HCV patients without a history of alcohol consumption. The mechanism by which alcohol worsens HCV related liver disease is not properly understood. One possibility is that alcohol stimulates HCV replication, and the present meta-analysis was performed to examine this issue.

Methods: The effect of alcohol on viral titres was assessed in three ways: comparison of the heaviest drinkers with non-drinkers; effect of graded doses of alcohol; and effect of abstinence in the same individual.

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Results: A total of 14 studies were identified. Comparison of patients with the highest alcohol use with the abstinent group showed a significant association with viral load in three studies, five studies had a positive direction, while the remaining four studies found a negative relationship. Analysis of the combined results showed no association between alcohol consumption and virus levels (p = 0.29). Assessment of graded doses of alcohol also showed no significant difference between non-drinkers and moderate drinkers (p = 0.50), between non-drinkers and heavy drinkers (p = 0.35), or between moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers (p = 0.32). Five studies examined the influence of abstinence on viral titres but none provided sufficient data for statistical analysis.

Conclusions: The present study has failed to show an association between alcohol use and HCV viral titres. These observations raise the possibility that the hepatic damage caused by alcohol and HCV may be purely additive, involving different mechanisms and pathways.' "

Shirley143 6 Aug 2016

What happens if you drink beer and are taking harvoni?

Votes: +0
666sjb 29 Sep 2016

Nothing 1 or 2 a day is ok

kerrybabyxx 18 Nov 2016

I have had hep C for about 20 years have drank moderately every day,but I can't get government sponsored treatment,since after a fibre scan,they found out my liver has no scarring or damage,so its up to me to pay for Harvoni.I quess my treatment is on hold until I inherit.some money.

bailey412 23 Nov 2016

So did any of you who continued to drink have any issues with your treatment?

candacefortier 28 Dec 2016

If you are having to pay even a co pay go to Harvoni's website. They will give you a downloadable coupon that will cover all of your copay except $5.00. I believe they have other options to help payment.

kerrybabyxx 26 April 2017

I'm in Canada so I can't avail myself of the coupon you mention,thanks though...

Anwlife 20 Aug 2017

Kerrybaby u should check into Support Path.

kerrybabyxx 16 Sep 2018

Update:I don’t have any damage to my liver after getting hep c and since the Canadian govt is now funding Hep C medication,I have started taking Zepatier and have finished my first month out of 3,with mild side effects.I am even allowed a few drinks a day,like light beer and radlers(2%)

perx 2 July 2016

I started Harvoni a week ago. 12 week regiment. I don't drink often anymore. I have had HepC for 27 years. I care enough about my health and liver and cure that it's worth it to me to go alcohol free for three months. Its not that long. Of course, the night before I went on Harvoni, I wanted a margaritas, but refrained. I'm kicking HepC to the curb with no doubt!

Votes: +1
lemondrop77 16 Feb 2017

I like your comment about the margarita... lol. I started Harvoni 3 weeks ago. I quit drinking my usual 2 beers immediately after I got the Stage 4 C-Card from my Dr. I am 63 and would like to live another decade at least. I want toget m y first SS check before I kick the can. Stay positive and you will soon be able to say I am Hep C Free.

Camilla88 7 June 2016

Ed, I will recommend to short your use of alcohol .. I did the same and here I'm today healthy and almost a new liver ... Remember alcohol affects the liver and this can affect the medicine .. Drink a beer or glass of wine on the weekends ... Avoid school days .. And good luck

Votes: +1
Jrusso1954 24 April 2016

Unknown

Votes: +0
Michele28 3 April 2016

As for myself I looked on here because I have drank sense I started the treatment 2 weeks ago and I've noticed the original side offects are more so now. I'm more tired, have headaches, and upset stomach but from everyone else's answers it don't seem to affect the treatment.

Votes: +0
douglashogan 28 Dec 2015

I have just finished my 12 week regimen with Harvoni. I started with VL of 6 million copies; after 2 weeks it was down to 30 copies; at 4 wks 'undetectable'; 8 wks 'undetectable' and now at the end of treatment, still undetectable. Throughout this whole time (with the exception of the first two weeks), I drank a minimum of 3-4 beers per day. I am not recommending anyone drink on this med but since the original questioner wanted some non-judgmental answers, this is mine. My AST/ALT initailly went down into the 20's (from the 100's) but have creeped up a little with my latest blood work (AST 44/ALT 32). I should also mention that I have F4 Cirrhosis. I am not in any sort of denial as to what my continued drinking will do, but at least I will be free of HCV!

Good luck to Everyone

Votes: +2
Renee Harden 11 Dec 2015

This is just my opinion.there's no answer.why?because I wouldn't pay for a cure if I new that alcohol would interfere with the hep-c going away.

Votes: +0
mikemm 2 Oct 2015

i called Giliad... they say they have NO data one way or the other... no testing done... so in other words, NO ONE KNOWS

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unclejohnsband 28 Aug 2015

Well what is the answer, as I started treatment today? Not opinions, but medical facts. I'm LOL as my count is 5,000,000 + and I've had it at least 24 years from. 15,000 surgeries and I'm not a doctor.

Votes: +0
chrisv28 2 Oct 2015

My experience is that when I started treatment in March 2015 I had a viral load of 7m, two weeks viral load 60, four weeks negative hp c. Now I am considered cured :). I did abstain for the first three weeks and consumed alcohol moderately after, against the advise of my doctors. That is my experience with taking Harvoni. IT is a great drug and worked for me even with alcohol consumption.

Johnnie G 6 Oct 2015

I cut back during tx just because of likely irrational fear. No one wants to touch the subject. Lots of moralistic conflation between hcv and alcoholic cirrhosis. I was fortunate and my treatment has been a success.

Sarducci 26 Aug 2015

Ed,
I was first diagnosed while going through fertility testing in 2010. Because I had no negative symptoms, my doctor advised me to wait for some of the drugs that were being tested to be released. I had my liver checked every 6 months and had no tumors or cirrhosis, in fact I was quite healthy. Now 40, I've been a moderate to heavy drinker since 18. Since I never had any symptoms, the whole experience was rather surreal. I never felt like I was dying. I never had the fear that most associate with Hep C. I don't know if it was denial or ignorance, but I kept on living like I always had. I started Harvoni 4 weeks ago and I didn't change my diet, exercise routine (or lack thereof) or my drinking. The only thing that I changed was my daily vitamins (eliminated calcium) and I stopped taking otc heartburn relief. I have had absolutely no negative side effects.

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I seem to wake up earlier than before, but I feel completely rested! My two week blood draw results indicated that HCV was no longer detected!!! I'm not suggesting that it is a good idea to drink while on Harvoni, but I did and had no negative repercussions.

Votes: +1
eokeefe57 29 Aug 2015

Hello Sarducci, I was reading your comment and your drinking history sounds like mine. I do not know how long I have had Hep C but was diagnosed in 2001 and I'm sure I was a carrier for many years previous to that date! Then all of a sudden the Harvoni was approved by my insurance carrier and I started Harvoni on August 3rd.

I have become disabled for the past 5 years now and working on walking again. Just had back surgery and have experienced a lot of pain, esp. in the last 2 or so years. Been on lots of pain meds as well. So... I was afraid of feeling worse when starting treatment but I feel just fine!!! My first 2 week blood tests were extremely good and my doctor's office was amazed, as was I, at the immediate great results thus far..

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My answer to the original question here is that "Alcohol does not interfere with this medication." I drink 2 red wines with cranberry juice on ice every evening to relax and rewind to go to sleep and it has not interfered with this medication. I eat very well and take good care of myself but I love my wine!

My next round of blood tests will be August 31 - we'll then again see what's happening further. Till then - thanks for sharing!

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