What is Sofosbuvir?
Sofosbuvir is an antiviral medication prescribed to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Also prescribed in patients suffering from Hepatic (liver) cancer and hepatitis C infection and are planning to undergo a liver transplantation to avoid the reoccurrence of the infection after the transplantation. Not advised to use in patients with hepatitis B infection.
Type of drug
Sofosbuvir belongs to class of medicine called nucleotide analog inhibitor.
Use in brief
Sofosbuvir (tradename Sovaldi) is a direct acting antiviral medication used as part of combination therapy to treat chronic Hepatitis C. Sofosbuvir must be given in combination with other antiviral medications (usually ribavirin with or without peginterferon alfa). Sofosbuvir should not be used alone.
Sofosbuvir itself is an active ingredient in several branded medicine.
Sofosbuvir is prescribed in the treatment of below mentioned health conditions.
- Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma and liver transplantation.
There are no contraindications to this drug. When administered with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa, the contraindications to ribavirin and peginterferon alfa also apply.
How does Sofosbuvir work?
Sofosbuvir basically belongs to anti-hepaciviral type of drugs called nucleotide analog inhibitor and works by stopping the multiplication of viral cells by inhibiting the viral RNA synthesis and removes the viral cells from the patient’s body over a period of time.
How to Take Sofosbuvir?
Form of medicine – Sofosbuvir medicine is available in the form of tablets.
When and How to use?
In general this medicine may be taken with or without food as advised by your doctor. Never crush, chew the tablet but swallow whole medicine with some water.
Usual Adult Dose for Chronic Hepatitis C: 400 mg orally once a day.
Recommended Regimen and Duration of Therapy:
- Sofosbuvir, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin for 12 weeks.
- Sofosbuvir and ribavirin for 12 weeks.
- Sofosbuvir and ribavirin for 24 weeks.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma awaiting liver transplantation: Sofosbuvir and ribavirin for up to 48 weeks or until liver transplantation (whichever occurs first).However the dosage depends on your health condition. It should be prescribed by your doctor.
Never miss or overdose the medicine. Never take an extra dose if missed by mistake and if it is almost the next dosage scheduled time. Consult your doctor immediately for medical supervision if any overdosage happens.
When to Avoid Sofosbuvir?
Sofosbuvir is not advised to use in patients suffering from some health conditions such as:
- Hepatitis B infection – If you’ve ever had hepatitis B, it may become active or get worse after you stop using Sofosbuvir.
- Allergic reaction towards the Sofosbuvir medication.
- Liver problems other than hepatitis C.
- Kidney diseases or if you are on Dialysis.
- if you have recently used a heart rhythm medicine called amiodarone.
Side-effects of Sofosbuvir:
Sofosbuvir may possibly show some side effects in some patients. It is advised to consult your doctor if any of such side effects are noticed and if they are prolonged. Below mentioned are some possible side effects by Sofosbuvir. It may show side effects that are not mentioned here in this list.
- Right sided upper stomach pain
- Ulcers or white spots in the mouth
- Lower back pain
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle pain and cramps.
- Dark urine and clay coloured stools.
- If you take sofosbuvir and you also take a heart rhythm medicine called amiodarone: This combination of medicines can cause dangerous side effects on your heart. Get medical help right away if you take these medicines and you have: very slow heartbeats, chest pain, shortness of breath, confusion, memory problems or weakness, extreme tiredness, light-headed feeling.
Effects on organs:
This medicine may possibly show adverse effects on organs like kidney in case of renal impairment and should be used with medical supervision. It is advised to consult the doctor and share detailed information about the current health condition so that the doctor can alter the dosage depending on the patient’s health condition.
Reported Allergic Reactions?
It is not recommended in patients who have known allergic reactions towards Sofosbuvir. Bring it to the notice of your doctor if any allergic reactions are observed for an immediate medical emergency.
Effect on menstrual cycle
This medicine may cause irregularity or stop the menstrual cycle temporarily. Consult your gynaecologist for further guidelines to follow.
Drug Interactions to Be Careful About:
Sofosbuvir may possibly show drug interaction with some other medication if they are used together. It is advised to share the medication details that you might be using any with your doctor before he prescribes this medicine to you. Sofosbuvir has the possibility of showing drug interaction if used along with the below mentioned list of medicines:
- Antidiabetic Agents
- P-glycoprotein/ABCB1 Inducers
- P-glycoprotein/ABCB1 Inhibitors
- Tacrolimus (Systemic)
- Tenofovir Alafenamide
- Vitamin K Antagonists (eg., warfarin).
Interactions with laboratory procedures:
Limited data is available on interaction with any diagnostic test while under the medication but it is always good to share details about your current medication before attending any lab tests so that you doctor and lab technician is aware of.
Shows Effects / Results in and how long do the effect stay:
Limited clinical data is available regarding the onset of action and how long the effect stays. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about the onset of action and duration of effect.
Is Sofosbuvir Addictive?
No drug addiction is noticed in case of Sofosbuvir.
Can I have Sofosbuvir with alcohol?
Interaction with alcohol is not clinically established. Consult your doctor if you have a habit of taking alcohol on a regular basis.
Can I have Sofosbuvir When Pregnant?
Not advised to use in general in pregnant women. It is advised to both Males and Females to use contraception while taking this medication. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 6 months after your last dose of ribavirin.
Can I have Sofosbuvir when feeding a baby?
Not advised to use in general in breastfeeding women.
Can I drive after taking Sofosbuvir?
Some patients may experience dizziness and blurred vision as a side effect especially if taken along with some other medication as a combination medicine. Hence, it is not advised to do activities which require alertness such ad driving or operating heavy machinery.
Effect of overdose Sofosbuvir
Serious adverse effects such as breathing problems, sometimes even death may be possible if overdosage happens in large quantities. Consult your doctor immediately if you notice overdosage.
Effect of using expired Sofosbuvir?
It is advised not to use any medicine that is expired to avoid adverse effects. Consult your doctor immediately if any adverse effects are noticed by taking any expired medicine. It is advised to check the label while purchasing the medicine to verify the expiry date to be safe.
Effect of missing a dose of Sofosbuvir
No major adverse effects are noticed if only one dosage is missed. But if you are missing the dosages regularly, it is advised to keep a reminder so that you don’t miss the regular dosage.
It is advised to store the medication away from direct sunlight, moisture, heat and to keep at room temperature. Keep away from the reach of the children and pets.
Different Brands of Sofosbuvir medicine available
Below mentioned is the available brand of medicine that contains Sofosbuvir as key ingredient, and your doctor may prescribe this to treat the condition.
- Sofokem 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Alkem Laboratories Ltd
- Sovaldi 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Mylan Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
- Zosovir 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Zuventus Healthcare Ltd
- Sofovir 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Hetero Drugs Ltd
- Hepcinat 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Natco Pharma Ltd
- Resof 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd
- Cimivir 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Biocon Ltd
- Hepcvir 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Cipla Ltd
- Sofab 400 mg Tablet – Manufactured by Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.
Sofosbuvir is often used in combination with other anti-viral drugs like Ledipasvir, Velpatasvir, Voxilapravir.
If for some reason an experienced doctor is not available around you, then you can contact us here.
Dr. Divya has been pursuing Dentistry for about 5 years now. Endodontics and Orthodontics are her areas of interest and she holds a BDS degree from Govt. Dental College, Vijayawada, AP. Besides pursuing her career as a Dentist, she is passionate about Technical writing and is spending her free time in writing medical articles to bring awareness and share medical knowledge to the public.