Heading toward SVR: you can swat away the hepatitis C fears

A few nights ago giant spiders attacked me. They tried to build a nest on my head. When I swatted at them, they climbed down my face. I swatted and swatted at the fist-sized creatures, and they tumbled down my chest and scurried away. They were a dream brought on, I surmised, by the impending results of my most recent viral count. It has been 12 weeks since I stopped swallowing two ordinary-looking pills each morning,which I took for exactly 12 weeks. The white capsule was Simeprevir. The tan, football-shaped pill was Sofosbuvir. Together, they are supposed to rid the blood of the hep C virus. I hope they worked for me.

Simeprevir (trade names Galexos and Olysio), a protease inhibitor, keeps the hep C virus from linking amino acids, which it needs to do in order to reproduce. Sofosbuvir (trade names Solvaldi and Virunon), is a direct-acting antiviral. It inhibits an enzyme that duplicates the virus’s RNA code.

As most people in the hep community know, SVR stands for sustained virologic response. It’s the medical lingo for having no detectable virus in the blood 24 weeks after the end of treatment. With the new direct-acting antivirals and protease inhibitors, a 12-week SVR could indicate a cure.

My 12-week result is coming later this week. I’m nervous and having strange dreams about it, but I believe the spiders will be gone.



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