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FDA Approves New Hepatitis C Treatment Pill

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The first ever pill to treat all forms of hepatitis C was officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this year.

New Hepatitis C Treatment

Created by Gilead Sciences, the hepatitis C treatment, prescription drug Epclusa, has been approved to be used in combination with Ribavirin. Epclusa is actually a fixed-dosage pill that is made up of Sofosbuvir (a drug approved in 2013), and Velpatasvir (an entirely new drug). This will be the first drug used to treat the six major forms of the hepatitis C virus.

What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral disease that can cause inflammation of the liver and eventually lead to liver failure. Most people do not show signs and symptoms, but those who do may experience nausea, fatigue, dark urine, loss of appetite, and yellowish tint to eyes and skin. Hepatitis C is transmitted through contaminated blood, which is commonly spread through sharing needles or non-sterile tattoo equipment.

According to the CDC, hepatitis C affects roughly 2.7 million Americans, and was the cause of 19,000 deaths in 2014. The new drug brings hope for those who have been affected by the virus and is desperately needed now that the heroin epidemic is on the rise. The daily pill not only was able to treat all six major types of the virus, but it cured 95 percent of participants in three months, according to the clinical trial that was reviewed by the FDA.

The best way to prevent contracting hepatitis C is to not share needles, be mindful of open wounds, and make sure your tattoo artist, dentist, piercer, and any other person who is using equipment on you uses only sterile equipment. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you or someone you love does contract the virus. Many addicts contract the virus during their addiction, but through proper treatment and self-care, have gone on to live very healthy, happy lives in recovery. This new drug simply could bring more hope and healing to anyone who has been diagnosed.

If you or someone you love is in active addiction and needs help, contact The Watershed today for more information on how the obsession and craving to use can be lifted.

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