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This leaflet is designed to give you important information about your new medicine. It is not intended to replace the patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with the medicine, but is designed to be read in conjunction with it. If you have any questions about your treatment, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
The treatment comprises of Sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi), Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin. The treatment aims to completely clear the Hepatitis C virus from the body. Although the treatment is very effective, it is not guaranteed to work for everyone. These medications are taken in combination and should not be used alone.
Sofosbuvir, The recommended dose is one tablet (400mg) once a day with food. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not chew, crush or split the tablet as it has a bitter taste.
Pegylated Interferon, This is an injection given into your tummy, once a week. It should be taken on the same day each week. The nurses will teach you how to give yourself the injection. It must be stored in the fridge and then disposed of in a sharps bin afterwards.
Ribavirin, A tablet that must be taken with food. These tablets are to be taken in the morning and evening each day. Your nurse/ doctor will tell you exactly how many tablets to take (the number of tablets depends on your weight and blood results).
There are no specific types or amounts of food that need to be taken with your tablets. You can take it with a substantial snack, with a main meal or up to 30 minutes after a main meal.
Sofosbuvir, like all other medicines, has some side effects. Most of these are minor and will settle within a few days or weeks.
It is always important to make your doctor and pharmacist aware of any medicines you take to ensure that they are compatible with your treatment. This includes any recreational, over-the-counter or herbal medications. Before starting any new medications you must check they are safe to take with your clinic nurse, doctor or pharmacist.
You must not stop, or allow anyone else to stop, your treatment unless discussed with the doctor or nurse in charge of your Hepatitis C treatment.
There are no special storage instructions for Sofosbuvir or Ribavirin, however they should be kept in a safe place, away from children. Pegylated Interferon must be stored in a fridge.
To lessen the side effects of treatment we advise you aim to drink two litres of water a day, keep skin well moisturised, avoid alcohol, use sunscreen and eat little and often. If you experience any side effects, and either they are troubling you or you develop any new symptoms after you start your treatment, tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist who will advise you what to do.
If you have a special requirement or you have vision, mobility or access issues please call 01273 664541 for further advice/ information.
If you have a question about any of your medicines, speak to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
Contact Hepatology Nurses: 01273 664541.
What if I…
Get a headache or just need a pain killer?
Paracetamol can be taken with Sofosbuvir, Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin. We do not advise Ibuprofen (or medications in this family, called NSAIDS) in patients with significant liver scarring or cirrhosis.
Get hayfever or have other allergies?
The antihistamines Hydroxyzine or Ceterizine can be taken with Sofosbuvir, Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin. If your allergy is related to Sofosbuvir, Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin or any other medicines, speak to your clinic doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any medicines. You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using any nasal sprays or getting any injections, to check for possible interactions with any other medicines you are taking.
For short-term diarrhoea relief, you can use Loperamide. Remember to drink plenty of fluids. If you get a lot of diarrhoea and it lasts more than a few days, contact your clinic to ask for advice.
Get heartburn, reflux, indigestion?
Antacids and over-the-counter heart burn remedies may be taken with Sofosbuvir, Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin.
Am prescribed or take something for my mood, such as an antidepressant or St John’s wort?
Check with your clinic doctor/nurse or pharmacist before taking these. St John’s wort can reduce the levels of Sofosbuvir within your body, meaning they may be less effective at suppressing the virus. We therefore advise not taking this; other antidepressants are safe to take and should be discussed with your nurse.
Currently take, or would like to take, supplements, including calcium or iron?
Most supplements can be taken with Pegylated Interferon, Sofosbuvir and Ribavirin, but always check with your clinic doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking them.
Miss a dose?
Treatment works best if there is a constant amount of the drugs in your body. It is really important that you take the tablets regularly. However, occasionally you may forget a dose. Don’t worry if this happens, just follow the guidance below. If you are having problems remembering to take your medicines, speak with your clinic now and they may be able to help you.
Am sick after taking my medications?
If you are sick (vomit) after taking Sofosbuvir it may affect the amount of medication in your blood and make it work less well. If you are sick (vomit) less than 2 hours after taking Sofosbuvir, take another tablet. If you are sick (vomit) more than 2 hours after taking Sofosbuvir, WAIT until your next scheduled tablet – there is no need to take an extra dose.
Get pregnant or my partner gets pregnant whilst on treatment?
Contact the nurses as soon as possible who will advise you on the best course of action.
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Publication Date: June 2016
Review Date: January 2023