Hepatitis-C Drugs Approved For Pediatric Use
Hepatitis-C is curable, but the youngest patients haven’t been able to benefit from groundbreaking treatment, until now.
Hepatitis-C drugs were just approved by the FDA for pediatric use.
Plenty of Public Service Announcements tell Baby Boomers to be tested for Hepatitis-C, but parents might not know kids can have it.
“I have a 4-year-old son,” Patricia Dore said. “And he falls down and bleeds all the time, so I can understand it. It was a surprise to me, but I could totally understand where that would happen.”
While her son may be too young for many of the risk factors for transmitting the disease, if he does get it as a teenager, new drugs were recently approved to cure the disease.
“Can cure it? That’s amazing!” Dore said.
It’s Estimated that there are 23,000 to 46,000 children in the US with Hepatitis C, and the drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni can now be used for treatment in Pediatric patients 12 and older.
Dr. Michael Dunn, Staff Physician at the Community Aids Network (CAN) has been prescribing Harvoni for adults.
“This is one of the first big diseases that we’ve had in a while, that we can actually say, I say the C-word, Cure,” Dr. Dunn said. “Because with a lot of the other things that we treat are just kind of being managed. I’ve seen great things with it. I have not had anybody that has relapsed that I’ve treated.”
He calls it a “Wonder Drug.”
“We watch a test called a viral load,” Dr. Dunn said. “Which is the amount of Hepatits-C virus that’s in the bloodstream, and typically by 4 weeks they’re already undetectable.”
The earlier you control Hepatitis-C the less damage you can do to the body.
Treating teenagers could mean less damage to the liver.
“Healthier times for children as they get older,” Dr. Dunn said. “Hep-C is kind of a slow, indolent disease that can cause problems over a period of years, and typically the earlier you can treat in the better off you are.”
Now parents can make sure their kids are treated sooner, if they need it.
“Providing a safe opportunity for my kids to grow and thrive,” Dore said. “Anything in modern medicine that can help them do it, I am all for.”
You can speak with your care provider about options for testing for Hepatitis-C and any treatments.