Sunday, April 12, 2015
Over-the-Counter Allergy Drug Treats Hepatitis C As Well As Antivirals
How could an effective, inexpensive hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug have been available at local pharmacies without clinicians and patients knowing it? Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have the answer.
In study results published in Science Translational Medicine, lead Author T. Jake Liang, MD, and colleagues have identified an alternative to the typical HCV drugs that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The disease that often causes liver damage may have met its match with an antihistamine medication used for allergies, chlorcyclizine HCl (CCZ).
“Although hepatitis C is curable, there is an unmet need for effective and affordable medication,” Liang, senior investigator at NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), said in a news release. “CCZ is a promising candidate for part of a treatment regimen for this potentially life-threatening disease.”