How long is an Epclusa treatment?
Epclusa (sofosbuvir and velpatasvir) is given as a single daily pill for 12 weeks duration. With advanced liver disease (decompensated cirrhosis, Child-Pugh B or C), it is combined with ribavirin, also for 12 weeks. If Epclusa is prescribed with ribavirin, follow your doctor’s recommendations for ribavirin dosing.
In studies, 95% to 99% of Epclusa-treated patients without cirrhosis or with mild cirrhosis had no virus detected in the blood 12 weeks after finishing the 12-week regimen. In patients with moderate to severe cirrhosis, some of whom required ribavirin, 94% were cleared of the virus 12 weeks after finishing treatment.
Be sure not to miss any doses of Epclusa, as this can lower the amount of medicine in your blood and lower its effectiveness.
Do not stop taking Epclusa or change your dose without first talking with your healthcare provider. Take your medicine exactly as directed by your doctor.
How long is Epclusa treatment if I have HIV?
For patients with HCV and HIV-1 co-infection, the duration is a single daily pill for 12 weeks duration for all six genotypes, or combined with ribavirin for 12 weeks if there is liver disease.
How long is Epclusa treatment if I have a transplanted liver?
For people who have had a liver transplant and do not have liver disease or have compensated liver disease (Child-Pugh A), the recommended regimen is Epclusa once daily for 12 weeks.
Why is Epclusa prescribed?
Epclusa is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of chronic HCV in patients as young as 3 years of age, regardless of HCV genotype or liver disease severity. It is used for HCV genotypes, 1 through 6, in patients without liver disease and in combination with ribavirin for those with advanced liver disease.
It is classified as a nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor and pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor fixed-dose combination.
It comes as an oral tablet and as oral pellets. Epclusa tablets or oral pellets are usually given as a single daily dose that can be taken with or without food.
- For children less than 6 years of age, give Epclusa oral pellets with food to increase tolerability. Do not chew the pellets due to the bitter taste.
- When Epclusa is given with ribavirin in children 3 years of age and older, the daily dosage of ribavirin is based on their weight and is administered orally in two divided doses with food.
Does Epclusa have bad side effects?
Epclusa is normally well-tolerated in most patients and people rarely stop treatment because side effects. Over 12-week long studies, only 0.2% of people permanently stopped treatment due to side effects.
The most common Epclusa side effects are:
- headache and tiredness in adults and children 6 years of age and older
- vomiting and spitting up the drug in children under 6 years
- fatigue, anemia, nausea, headache, trouble sleeping, and diarrhea in patients with advanced liver disease also receiving ribavirin
Epclusa can also cause serious side effects like a slow heart rate or reactivation of the hepatitis B virus. Before starting treatment with Epclusa, your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check for hepatitis B virus infection, as it can be reactivated during or after treatment. These are not all the possible side effects of Epclusa.
This is not all the information you need to know about Epclusa (sofosbuvir and velpatasvir) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.
- Epclusa (sofosbuvir and velpatasvir) [product information]. Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA. 4/2022. Accessed June 6, 2022 at https://www.gilead.com/~/media/Files/pdfs/medicines/liver-disease/epclusa/epclusa_pi.pdf
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- Epclusa Information for Consumers
- Epclusa prescribing info & package insert (for Health Professionals)
- Side Effects of Epclusa (detailed)