Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir (Oral)

Patients that suffer from Hepatitis C, that may or may not also have cirrhosis of the liver, often find relief from their symptoms with the combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir.

Overview

The prescription medication combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir is an effective treatment for Hepatitis C. This particular combination can be used by patients that have cirrhosis of the liver and by those who do not have that condition. Ribavirin is also sometimes added to the combination if the doctor believes it will offer a more effective treatment for that particular case.

This drug combination is not recommended in patients that currently suffer from a heart disease as it can worsen the condition. If you have Hepatitis C and your doctor does prescribe the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination, it is imperative that all of their instruction be followed very closely. Be sure to alert your doctor of any drugs that you have recently taken for treatment of your heart disease, even if you are no longer taking them.

Patients will likely be required to undergo continuous testing while on their 12-week course of treatment of the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination including both blood and urine testing. This testing will help to ensure that there are no unwanted side effects occurring and to measure the effectiveness of the treatment.

In some cases, relief has been reported after just a few doses of the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination, but it is imperative that patients continue with the entire 12-week course of treatment. It is also advised that the table is taken at the same time every day in order to maintain the desired level of the drug in the system at all times.

Side effects of this drug can be severe for patients that also suffer from heart disease or who are in the advanced stages of liver disease. If you have either one of these ailments it is important that you work closely with your doctor and advise them of any side effects or symptoms that you may experience while taking the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination.

Condition(s) Treated

  • Hepatitis C

Type of Medicine

  • Hepatitis C Virus NS5A Inhibitor
  • Antiviral

Side Effects

The sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination has various side effects with some that are more significant than others. If you experience any of the below effects it is important to contact your doctor for further medical instruction.

These side effects have been reported in some cases on an intermittent basis:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Unconsciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Fizziness

Other effects are less severe and typically dissipate on their own within a few days. If you experience any of the side effects listed below and they do not go away after a few a days or become worse it is always best practice to seek medical advice:

More Likely

Less Likely

  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Discouragement
  • Rash
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Lack or loss of strength
  • Lack of appetite, nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Trouble sleeping

Additional side effects are possible and if you are experiencing any symptoms that are lingering or becoming more intense it is always best to seek advice from your doctor. Some side effects are normal and should be expected but if they do not dissipate on their own or become worse it may be a sign of a more serious problem and your doctor should be consulted immediately.

Dosage

Children who are prescribed the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination for the treatment of Hepatitis C should follow the instructions provided by their doctor as each case will vary in dosage requirements.

Adults need to take one tablet every day for a total treatment course of 12 weeks. The tablets are comprised of 100mg of velpatasvir and 400mg of the sofosbuvir.

It is necessary that the body maintain a level amount of the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination so it is recommended that the tablet is taken at the same time every day. If you miss a dose take it as soon as possible, although if you are nearing your next dose it may be best to skip it. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are confused about how to remedy a missed dose. It is important that you not take a double dose of the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination.

Major Drug Interactions

This drug combination interacts with the following in such a way that your doctor may want to alter one of your medication so that you are not taking both of them. If the concern is less significant, they may change the dosage of one or both. It is always best practice to discuss all medications that you are currently taking with your doctor, including both prescription and non-prescription medications, any herbal supplements, and all vitamin and mineral supplements.

  • Amiodarone
  • Tipranavir
  • Bosentan
  • Rifapentine
  • Dexlansoprazole
  • Rifabutin
  • Enzalutamide
  • Primidone
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Mitotane
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Omeprazole
  • Nafcillin
  • Pantoprazole
  • Modafinil
  • Phenytoin
  • Lansoprazole
  • Rabeprazole
  • Esomeprazole
  • Rifampin
  • Efavirenz
  • St John's Wort
  • Carbamazepine
  • Topotecan

If you are taking either of the following two medications, your doctor may alter the dose or advise you on certain side effects to watch for:

  • Rosuvastatin
  • Digoxin

In addition to the drugs listed above, patients that also suffer from heart disease in addition to Hepatitis C need to work closely with their doctors as the use of the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination can cause their existing heart condition to worsen.

Patients with stomach and digestion problems that rely on antacids that contain either magnesium or aluminum need to be sure to allow at least 4 hours to elapse between taking the antacid and the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination.

Warnings

If you are taking any medication for a heart condition your doctor may require further monitoring and testing. The use of Amiodarone, either before starting the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination or during, has been proven to be fatal in some cases. Before beginning the course of treatment of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination be sure to thoroughly discuss all medications that you are taking with your doctor, as well as those that you have taken recently even if you are no longer using them.

St. John's Wort, a non-prescription herbal remedy, should not be taken with sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination and if you have taken it in the past be sure to let your doctor know.

This drug may require ongoing testing, both blood, and urine tests, throughout the course of treatment to monitor its effectiveness and to check for any side effects. Be sure to keep all medical appointments and closely follow the direction of your prescribing physician.

Side effects should be monitored closely and in the case of patients who also suffer from heart disease or are in the advanced stages of liver disease need to work closely with their physician during their sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination course of treatment.

Storage

It is always best to store all medications in their original packaging in a dry environment that does not receive direct sunlight. Do not allow the medication to experience excessive heat or cold or become frozen.

Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children.

Consult your prescribing doctor or pharmacist for instructions regarding the proper disposal of any unused or expired medications. It is important that you not throw any leftover drugs away or flush them down the toilet.

Summary

Sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination is an effective treatment for patients that have Hepatitis C, either with or without cirrhosis of the liver. This drug contains 400mg of sofosbuvir and 100mg of velpatasvir in combination. Patients that also suffer from heart disease or are in the advanced stages of liver disease need to work closely with their doctor during their sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination treatment. This drug can cause heart disease to worsen and those patients need to be aware of the side effects and symptoms that may signal a more serious issue.

Patients that are taking other medications need to inform their doctor of all drugs and supplements that they are taking and in the case of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination they need to be aware of any drugs that you have taken recently but may not be taking currently. Be sure to include any herbal remedies and vitamin and mineral supplements that you are taking in addition to your prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Your doctor will likely order a variety of testing throughout the course of treatment that will ensure that the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination is proving effective. These blood and urine tests will also help your doctor monitor your system for any unwanted side effects or evidence of a more serious problem.

While some patients do report relief from their symptoms after just a few doses, it is imperative that the sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination be taken for the entire 12-week course of treatment. If you are experiencing any side effects that do not go away on their own after a few days or begin to worsen, it is always best practice to notify your doctor immediately.

The sofosbuvir and velpatasvir combination can be used in children with a different dosage amount or protocol and the direction of your pediatrician should be followed closely.

Hepatitis C is a serious condition and this drug is an effective treatment when taken exactly as prescribed. Be sure to keep all medical appointments and testing requirements to ensure that the drug works safely and effectively.

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Last Reviewed:
December 23, 2017
Last Updated:
April 05, 2018
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