Repurposing Allergy Meds to Treat Hep C
In search of a more cost-effective way to defeat Hepatitis C, researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD screened 3,800 drugs already FDA-approved that might have an antiviral activity against Hepatitis C infection. As published in an April 2015 edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine, human liver cells were grafted into mice to test the allergy drug chlorcyclizine HCl.
An over-the-counter antihistamine, chlorcyclizine HCl costs about $17 for 30 pills under the brand name Ahist. The research team found that chlorcyclizine HCl was a potent inhibitor of Hepatitis C infection in human liver cancer cells and human liver cells.
Although traditionally used to treat hay fever, chlorcyclizine HCl also appears to inhibit an early stage of Hepatitis C – most likely by targeting viral entry into host cells. In addition, chlorcyclizine HCl was found to be synergistic with other antiviral drugs used for Hepatitis C, such as ribavirin, interferon, telaprevir, boceprevir, sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.
The authors of the study make an interesting case for further investigation into chlorcyclizine HCl as part of Hepatitis C treatment. They claim this allergy drug (that is already FDA-approved and has a favorable safety profile) could provide a more affordable alternative to the costly Hepatitis C treatments now offered.
http://hepatitisnewstoday.com/2015/04/10/antihistamine-medication-may-be-a-promising-treatment-for-hepatitis-c/, Antihistamine Medication May Be a Promising Treatment for Hepatitis C,
http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/7/282/282ra49, Repurposing of the antihistamine chlorcyclizine and related compounds for treatment of hepatitis C virus infection, Shanshan He, et al, Retrieved April 19, 2015, Science Translational Medicine, April 2015.
http://www.aidsinfonet.org/fact_sheets/view/680, Interferon and Ribavirin, Retrieved April 23, 2015, AIDS InfoNet, 2015.
http://www.hepatitiscentral.com/news/breaking-news-viekira-pak-approved-for-hep-c/, Breaking News: Viekira Pak Approved for Hep C, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved April 24, 2015, Hepatitis Central, 2015.
http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-159074/chlorcyclizine-hcl-chlophedianol-hcl-oral/details#, Chlorcyclizine Hcl-Chlophedianol Hcl, Retrieved April 19, 2015, WebMD, LLC, 2015.
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