Sofosbuvir is intended for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infections. This medication helps lessen the amount of infection in your body. In which it may help your liver recover. Chronic hepatitis C infection can cause serious liver problems such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. Sofosbuvir is used with other antiviral medications to lessen the amount of hepatitis C virus in the body and helps the immune system of the body fight the infection. 

HepatitisC causes liver inflammation that sometimes may lead to serious liver damage.This virus spreads over contaminated blood. Up to recently, the treatment ofthis disease mandates weekly injections and oral medications for those whocouldn’t take because of other health problems or unacceptable side effects. Long-terminfection with the hepatitis C virus is known as chronic hepatitis C. Chronichepatitis C is usually a silent infection for many years. Until the virusdamages the liver, it is enough to cause the signs and symptoms of liverdisease. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Bleeding easily
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising easily
  • Poor appetite
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes 
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Fluid build-up in your abdomen 
  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech 
  • Weight loss
  • Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin

HepatitisC infection is caused by the hepatitis C virus. The infection spreads whenblood contaminated with the virus enters the bloodstream of an uninfectedperson.

Sofosbuvir is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This comes as a tablet for oral use. Each tablet is available in the dosage form of 400 mg. 

How doesSofosbuvir work?

Sofosbuviris a type of drug known as an antiviral. Hepatitis C is a virus that infectsthe liver and leads to liver damage. Once the virus is inside the liver cellsit increases. Part of this procedure includes the virus making copies of itsgenetic material which is DNA and RNA. 

DNA isthe hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. An importantproperty of DNA is that it can replicate or makes a copy of itself. 

RNA isone of the all known forms of life. It plays an important role in regulatingcellular processes from cell division, differentiation, and growth to cellaging and death. 

Thismedication works by blocking the action of an enzyme called NS5B RNA-dependentRNA polymerase in the hepatitis C virus. In which the virus needs to grow. Thisstops the hepatitis C virus from increasing, which lowers the amount ofhepatitis C virus in the liver. This helps to decrease liver damage andprogresses or improves the function of the liver.

Sofosbuvirmust be used in combination with other medicines that attack the hepatitis Cvirus in different ways. If this drug is used on its own, there is a highchance that the hepatitis C virus will become resistant to it. 

How touse Sofosbuvir?

Sofosbuviris to be taken by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day.Take this prescription at around the same time every day. On your prescriptionlabel, carefully follow the directions and if there is any part you do notunderstand, ask your doctor to explain. Take this drug exactly as directed. Donot take more or less of it or take it more often than it is prescribed by yourdoctor. If you vomit within two hours of taking a tablet you should takeanother one. If you vomit more than two hours after taking a tablet then youdon’t need to take another tablet. This is because most of the dose ofSofosbuvir is absorbed within two hours of taking the tablet. 

Continueto take Sofosbuvir even if you feel well. If Sofosbuvir is taken in combinationwith Ribavirin and Peginterferon Alfa, it is usually taken for 12 weeks. IfSofosbuvir is taken in combination with Ribavirin alone, it is usually taken for12 – 24 weeks. The length of your treatment depends on how well you respond tothe medication, on your condition, and whether you experience severe sideeffects. Do not stop taking Sofosbuvir, Peginterferon Alfa, or Ribavirin unlessyour doctor told you to do so. 

What arethe side effects of Sofosbuvir?

Commonside effects:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Anemia
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Flu-like illness
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability 
  • Joint pain
  • Low blood cell count
  • Low white blood cell count 

Thismedication may as well cause severe depression and suicidal ideation. Let yourdoctor know if these occur. 

Getemergency medical assistance or help right away if these signs of an allergicreaction occur:

  • Hives or itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat 

Warningsand Precautions 

  • This medication can cause dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision and affect concentration in some people. You should take care when performing potentially hazardous activities such as driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine affects you. And make sure as well you can perform such activities safely.
  • While you are taking this medication, your liver function and the amount of hepatitis C virus in your body should be regularly monitored. This will involve having blood tests before, during, and after treatment with Sofosbuvir. 
  • This medication can lessen the number of blood cells in your blood. Let your doctor know right away if you experience purple spots, unexplained bruising, sore throat or mouth, and fever while having this medication. 
  • Sofosbuvir should be used with caution in people who are infected with hepatitis B, with liver cirrhosis whose liver is not working well, and with severely decreased kidney function.
  • People taking certain other medicines, women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, and people allergic to any ingredient of this medication should not take it. 
  • The safety and effectiveness of this drug in children aged less than 12 years have not yet been established. The manufacturer does not recommend it as well for this age group. 
  • If there are any signs of an overdose happen, call your doctor right away or call for medical help.