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Allergy Drug Has Potential To Treat Hepatitis C

A new National Institutes of Health study has found that an over-the-counter drug used to treat allergy symptoms has the potential to treat hepatitis C, WebMD reported. The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Scientists have yet to find out whether the antihistamine chlorcyclizine HCI will work with hepatitis C. However, the new study suggests that the drug impairs the ability of the virus to get into cells and is different from the present hepatitis C drugs, which stop viral replication. The over-the-counter drug costs 50 cents a pill.

Dr. T. Jake Liang, the study co-author, said that the antihistamine chlorcyclizine HCI complements the current hepatitis C drugs and can be taken in combination with them. Hepatitis C frequently causes severe liver complications such as cirrhosis. Dr. Douglas Dieterich, a professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said that some costly new drugs are effective with cure rates of more than 90 percent.

About 3.2 million U.S. people suffer from hepatitis C, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Dr. Joseph Lim, director of the viral hepatitis program at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, said that at present people with more advanced liver disease are obtaining access, due to high costs of the drug and restrictive policies of several private and public insurance carriers.

In this study, Liang and his team grafted human liver cells into mice to test the drug. Scientists found that the allergy drug seems to inhibit an early stage of infection with hepatitis C.

Liang said that people should avoid taking the antihistamine chlorcyclizine HCl to treat their hepatitis C until it has been shown that the allergy drug can be used safely for that purpose.

To read the original article reported in yibada.com by Mala Srivastava click here: http://en.yibada.com/articles/25537/20150409/allergy-drug-has-the-potential-to-treat-hepatitis-c-study.htm#ixzz3Wzvh358i
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