Hepatitis C: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

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Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a contagious disease that, later on, can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure. Even though early diagnosis may prevent liver damage, Hepatitis C can be fatal if left untreated. 

It is the most common blood-borne viral infection that invades liver cells, causing inflammation, dysfunction, and eventual organ damage. 

A person with Hepatitis C can transmit the virus to someone else through blood-to-blood contact. This article will briefly explain Hepatitis C disease, its symptoms, causes, and available treatment. 

Go through the article to know more. 

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C starts from mild illness, which may last for a few weeks, to severe and chronic health conditions. People with Hepatitis C with no symptoms, especially at the acute stage, may or may not be aware that they have it. It makes it easier to transmit to other people. 

Hepatitis can be acute type or chronic. Let’s understand the type one by one. 

  • Acute Hepatitis C

Most people with acute Hepatitis C may not develop any symptoms. If they do, all these symptoms may arise between 2 to 12 weeks after exposure. 

People with acute Hepatitis C have similar symptoms to viral infections. Symptoms of acute Hepatitis C include

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dark urine Clay-colored stool
  • Pain in joints
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Fever

People with acute Hepatitis C clear the virus from the body without any treatment and do not develop any chronic conditions later on. 

  • Chronic Hepatitis C

It becomes chronic when the body is not able to clear the virus. In most cases, chronic Hepatitis C does not cause any symptoms. A person can only find out they have the condition during the regular blood test or screening for blood donation.

Early diagnosis of and treatment of this disease can prevent liver damage. If it is left untreated, chronic Hepatitis C can lead to:

  • Liver cancer
  • Liver failure
  • Chronic liver disease can happen slowly over several decades without any symptoms. 
  • Cirrhosis or liver scarring. 

Causes of Hepatitis C

  • HCV can cause Hepatitis C. People contract the virus through blood-to-blood contact with contaminated blood. For transmission to occur, blood containing HCV can enter the body of a person who does not have HCV. 
  • A speck of blood, which is invisible to the naked eye, can carry hundreds of Hepatitis C virus particles, and it is not easy to kill the virus. 
  • Use or have used injectable drugs can cause Hepatitis C.
  • Receiving transfusions or organ transplantation before 1992, before blood screening was available. 
  • Exposure to needle sticks is common in people who are working in healthcare. 
  • Being born to a mother who has Hepatitis C. 

It is impossible to clean the syringe, so it is recommended to use a sterile one. Even though bleach can kill HCV in syringes, this may not have the same effect on the other equipment. Burning, boiling, and use of alcohol or any other common cleaning fluids to clean up the equipment may reduce the amount of HCV, but this might not stop the person from contracting the infection. 

The person can not contract the virus from casual contact, breathing, kissing, or sharing the friends. There is no such evidence that mosquito bites can transfer the virus. People can contract Hepatitis C by: 

  • Having unprotected intercourse and rough or anal sex makes blood-to-blood contact more likely. 
  • Sharing the items which could have contact with the blood, such as razors or toothbrushes.
  • Having invasive healthcare procedures, for instance, injections.
  • Getting the tattoo from an unregulated provider. 

Treatment of Hepatitis C

Direct-acting antiviral medicines (DAAs) can cause most chronic Hepatitis C and acute Hepatitis C. The medicines that are mentioned below work by targeting the specific steps in the HCV life cycle to disrupt the reproduction of the viral cells:

  • Grazoprevir/ Elbasvir
  • Glecapervir and Piberntasvir
  • Sofosbuvir
  • Peginterferon Alfa-2a 
  • Ledipasvir/ Sofosbuvir 

The choice of medication and treatment duration depends upon the virus’s genotype. It is crucial to note that you must consult a healthcare professional before consuming any of the medicine. Active pharma ingredients manufacturers are trying their best to come up with some impeccable drugs which can help treat Hepatitis C. Active pharmaceutical ingredients used for making Sofosbuvir, plays an important role in the treatment of Hepatitis C.  API manufacturers are solely responsible for the production of the active ingredient, which is used in the formulation of the drugs for Hepatitis C. 

Pharmaceutical raw materials that are used for the treatment of Hepatitis C must be of high quality; otherwise, it can have many negative repercussions. So make sure to contact your doctor, before consuming any drugs. 

Chemical composition of Sofosbuvir

It is a nucleotide analog, and the chemical composition is C22H29FN3O9P. Sofosbuvir has a molecular weight of 529.45g/mol. The structure of this drug consists of a pyrimidine base, ribose sugar, and the phosphoramidate group. The chemical composition allows sofosbuvir to act as the nucleotide. 

 Mechanism and uses of Sofosbuvir API 

The HCV RNA polymerase enzyme NS5B, necessary for viral replication, is inhibited by sofosbuvir, a direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medication. As a nucleotide analog inhibitor, sofosbuvir causes early termination of viral RNA synthesis, which prevents viral replication by incorporating it into the expanding HCV RNA chain during replication.

Uses: Adults and children 12 years of age and older who have chronic HCV infection are treated with sofosbuvir as a major component in conjunction with other antiviral medications. It is approved to treat several HCV genotypes, such as genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Manufacturing: Functional group protection and deprotection, coupling reactions, and purification procedures are commonly included in the chemical processes used to synthesize sofosbuvir. To guarantee the purity and potency of the finished product, complex chemical synthesis procedures are often used in manufacturing sofosbuvir API under stringent quality control guidelines.

Regulatory Status: Sofosbuvir has received regulatory agency approval for the treatment of chronic HCV infection in numerous nations across the world, including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and other health authorities.

It’s vital to remember that Sofosbuvir requires a prescription and should only be used under the supervision of a trained healthcare provider. The data presented here is for informational purposes only.

Market Scenario of Sofosbuvir API

The demand for Sofosbuvir API has been steadily increasing due to the rising incidence of HCV infections worldwide and the high efficacy of Sofosbuvir-based drugs in treating the disease. This growth is expected to continue as emerging markets demand more of the drug and new Sofosbuvir-based medications are introduced to the market.

Despite the positive market outlook, Sofosbuvir API is facing challenges such as high drug costs and competition from cheaper generic versions. These factors have put pressure on the pricing of Sofosbuvir-based drugs, leading some countries to implement price controls to make the treatment more affordable.

Overall, the future of the Sofosbuvir API market looks promising as demand for HCV treatment continues to rise and new medications are developed. However, challenges such as price pressure and competition from generics will need to be addressed to ensure the sustained growth of the market.

Conclusion

Here is brief information about Hepatitis C, its symptoms, and the treatment for the disease. If you have any other queries regarding the drugs we have mentioned above, you can always contact Bulat Pharmaceuticals. Our team will be there to help you out in every way. 

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