WHAT ARE HCV POLYMERASE INHIBITORS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
HCV polymerase inhibitors are a class of antivirals used to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. To know how HCV polymerase inhibitors work, let us first understand the structure of the hepatitis virus. HCV is a small, enveloped RNA virus. RNA, which is responsible for viral multiplication, is surrounded by lipid layers and glycoproteins. It is also responsible for coding several proteins that help the virus to multiply. Some of the proteins associated with viral replication include:
NS5B is an enzyme that uses single-stranded RNA to generate double-stranded RNA (RNA chain). There is no equivalent of NS5B enzyme in human cells. Hence, scientists have been developing anti-HCV agents that aim to inhibit NS5B, leading to reduced side effects in humans.
HCV polymerase inhibitors may incorporate into the growing RNA chain and terminate its multiplication. Besides, some HCV polymerase inhibitors may bind to the NS5B enzymes and alter their structure to limit their actions.
HOW ARE HCV POLYMERASE INHIBITORS USED?
As HCV polymerase inhibitors inhibit the multiplication of the HCV virus, they are used to treat:
- Chronic hepatitis C infection
- Recurrent hepatitis C infection
- HCV/HIV-1 coinfection
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF HCV POLYMERASE INHIBITORS?
HCV polymerase inhibitors, when used in combination, may sometimes cause these side effects:
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
WHAT ARE DRUG NAMES OF HCV POLYMERASE INHIBITORS?
Generic and brand names of HCV polymerase inhibitor drugs include: