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Does Harvoni make you gain weight?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Apr 23, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com
  • Weight gain has NOT been reported in clinical trials as a side effect of Harvoni
  • However, some individuals have reported weight gain with Harvoni on blog sites (from two to 12 pounds), although weight loss (up to 9 pounds) has been reported as well
  • Hepatitis C can cause weight loss because of nausea and loss of appetite. Once treatment with Harvoni or any other hepatitis C treatment has started, symptoms disappear, and the person feels well enough to eat properly again
  • Harvoni is unlikely to cause weight gain.

Weight gain has not been reported as a side effect of Harvoni in clinical trials.

However, some individuals on blog posts report gaining weight (from two to 12 pounds); however, this was temporary and easily lost once treatment with Harvoni finished.

Some people also reported losing weight – one person reported losing 9 pounds within the first week, possibly due to the reduction in liver inflammation.

Weight loss is a common symptom of hepatitis C. For many people, nausea associated with the virus makes it difficult to keep food down. Nausea also causes a loss of appetite, and together these symptoms can cause weight loss.

The weight gained when people start Harvoni or other hepatitis C treatments may be a reflection of the drug working to eradicate the virus, which means you no longer feel sick and your appetite comes back.

What are the side effects of Harvoni?

Usually, the side effects that occur with Harvoni are mild. In fact, in clinical studies, only 1% (1 out of 100) or less of patients stopped treatment due to side effects. The most common side effects reported with Harvoni are:

  • Asthenia (lack of energy)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Myalgia (muscle pains)
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea.

In addition, reactivation of hepatitis B has been reported in people who have a current or prior hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection before initiating treatment with Harvoni. In some cases, this has resulted in severe and rapid liver disease, hepatic failure, and death.

What is Harvoni?

Harvoni is a combination tablet containing ledipasvir and sofosbuvir. It may be used to treat certain genotypes of the hepatitis C virus in adults and children over the age of three years.

Ledipasvir is an NS5A inhibitor and sofosbuvir is a nucleotide polymerase (NS5B) inhibitor. Harvoni prevents the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from multiplying in the body. It is a single combination pill that is given by mouth once a day for 8, 12, or 24 weeks, depending upon your HCV status.

For more information see Hep C and Harvoni: 11 Facts About Your Treatment

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