Hep C Treatment – Four Weeks
Posted by wendiwendy
It’s been a month of Hepatitis C treatment for Dave and so far, so good. We had our final class this morning to learn about the third medicine he just started taking today. It’s called Victrelis (boceprevir) and he takes four capsules every eight hours. This class was quite a bit shorter; the side effects are basically the same as for Ribavirin, with the addition of a possible rash or metallic taste in the mouth.
There are two other guys in this group along with Dave, but usually we only see one of the guys, Mr. S (and his wife) when Dave goes for labs every other week. The other guy lives pretty far away so I believe he gets his labs done at a clinic closer to his house. We do see him when the guys either have a class or get their next dose of medicine. So far everyone seems to be tolerating the medicine well, with no major side effects. Mr. S has had his Pegasys dosage lowered because of low platelets but that’s about it. So it’s encouraging that everyone is still going strong and hanging in there!
Dave’s numbers are all really good so far – his blood sugar is normal, his platelets went UP (!) and his hemoglobin is holding steady. All his dosages are staying the same for now. At this point, he’s now taking all the medications for his treatment; no new ones will be added in. (Thank God, because it’s already getting confusing keeping track of everything!)
He gets up at 5 am and takes his thyroid pill, since it has to be taken well before he eats. Then he takes three Ribavirin capsules and four Victrelis capsules at 6 am, with food (something with fat, to help the medicine be absorbed into his system). Another four Victrelis capsules at 2 pm, again with food that contains fat. Three Ribavirin capsules at 6 pm (usually right after or during dinner, to take care of the ‘take with food’ requirement). And finally, four more Victrelis capsules at 10 pm with, you guessed it, a bedtime fat-containing snack. He was jokingly complaining about the fact that he’ll never lose weight with all this food he has to eat, all day long! Oh, let’s not forget the PEG-Interferon shot he gives himself every Wednesday night at 10 pm (take it out of the fridge at nine so it can come to room temperature first).
And they aren’t kidding about the timing of all this, and making sure you really take your meds every day. If you miss even one day of the Victrelis medication, you are withdrawn from treatment and you can’t restart it – you have to wait for a new treatment protocol to come along for the VA, probably in 2015, because this one will no longer work.
Right now there’s been no change in his viral load – he got his first PCR test two weeks into treatment and we got the results last week, since they take a week to be processed. He got another PCR test today, so we’ll find out next week if there’s been any change yet. The big one is a month from now, when he gets his eight week test. If he clears the virus by then, it cuts 20 weeks off his treatment time. That’s huge!
That pretty much covers everything so far…we just need to see if the Victrelis will bring any nasty side effects with it. I expect Dave will be feeling pretty tired tomorrow since tonight is his PEG-interferon shot, plus he started the Victrelis today so his body will be adjusting to all this new stuff. (And he got his second Hep A & B vaccination today – he hates those shots! Luckily there’s only one more, five months from now.)
About wendiwendyI'm a real-life bionic woman.
Posted on May 8, 2013, in Family, Medical Visits, Not Related to Hearing Loss and tagged Boceprevir, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis C treatment, Hepatitis C treatment after bone marrow transplant, liver health, peg interferon, Ribavirin, Victrelis. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.