Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Main Forums => Living with Hepatitis C => Topic started by: ruby78 on November 12, 2018, 05:53:52 pm

Title: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: ruby78 on November 12, 2018, 05:53:52 pm
I'm new to this site and would really like some feedback. I just started Harvoni this morning but did some reading on a Hep C site where many people wrote in about serious side effects that led to cancer and death in many cases. Having done a lot of research over the last 11 months since being diagnosed I still am extremely concerned and I know most people consider it to be a miracle drug.  Any thoughts?   
Title: Re: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: Mugwump on November 13, 2018, 02:29:46 am

hope all goes well with your treatment and cure. Many jump to the conclusion that Harvoni causes diseases. The fault in jumping to this conclusion is that all Harvoni does is block the replication of HCV and allows the non viable rna to be discarded from the body at a faster rate than it reproduces in liver cells. In doing so your body does the rest of the work by discharging HCV particles until there are none left in the system to get into a persons liver cells and replicate.

Therefore how well your body discharges the now non-viable virus particles and how well your metabolism is working in general during treatment is just as important to achieving SVR and a cure regardless of which DAA drug you are taking.

The drug itself uses the same chemical key code as HCV's mechanism to place antiviral drugs directly into liver cells. DAA's are essentially magic bullet drugs that concentrate antivirals in the place where HCV replicates.
What we are most concerned about is how well our immune systems adjust to having our liver essentially quickly go into overdrive regenerating cells that would have died eventually from HCV. The mechanism that HCV uses to propagate is like the scene from the movie alien where the critter explodes from inside the unwitting host.

The numbers of newly encapsulate HCV created inside a liver cell eventually reaches a critical stage and bingo the cell explodes and the viable fully mature encapsulated and infectious HCV virus particles are expelled into the blood stream to infect new liver cells.
What does all this have to do with cancer? Our bodies have trouble dealing with all the cell death from HCV and the other nasty little bits of crap created by our body to fight HCV.  The by products of the fight against HCV stress the hell out of our systems over the years, making diseases like HCC and other disease more prevalent in those with long term HCV infection.
Many people, over 10% of those infected with HCV are also much more susceptible to inflammatory diseases or the connective tissues, autoimmune diseases (like thyroid disease) and a whole host of other diseases that are more common in those who are infected long term with HCV.
Because Harvoni is the drug which is most commonly used to treat the most common genotypes of HCV there are more individuals that go on to develop other diseases post and even during treatment.
But Harvoni being the "cause" of cancer and all the other diseases attributed as "side effects" of Harvoni is just plain internet scare mongering at its worst!
Yes there is a greater chance of developing serious problems for those of us who are or were infected with HCV, have renal issues, heart trouble or have had a greater level of the myriad of extrahepatic manifestations HCV infection is known to exhibit.

As far as treatment goes:

Remember that the ledipasivir component of Harvoni is best ingested with a more acid stomach. So it is best to take Harvoni and wait to eat later. I took my pill with water and coffee in the morning and then waited for about 3 hours to eat anything substantial for this reason.
Others found that it was fine to take the pill at night. Some have digestive issues but most people find that drinking extra water helps iron out any digestive issues with Harvoni.
Regards and welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: lporterrn on November 13, 2018, 05:55:15 pm
The evidence shows the exact opposite - successful treatment is linked to reduction in hep C symptoms. lower risk of liver cancer, and longer life. Not doing treatment is linked to the opposite.
Title: Re: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: Lynn K on November 13, 2018, 09:50:16 pm
There were some concerns initially about a link between liver cancer and the new DAA’s but this was found to be incorrect on further investigation and study.

While a few folks had a more difficult time with treatment this is the exception. The majority of patients have a relatively easy time with treatment.

As Lucinda points out curing hep c will reduce your odds of liver cancer and dying from hep c and related liver injury.

Best of luck on treatment
Title: Re: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: ruby78 on November 17, 2018, 06:59:03 pm
Thanks so much to all that responded to my post, it is much appreciated. This is day 6 for me and was very sick, started last night with extreme tiredness. Woke up feeling very weak, lightheaded and dizzy, almost passes out. Just keep thinking about docs that told me I didn't really need to do anything as my liver and enzymes are fine and maybe my age? (I'm 65.)  I have always enjoyed such good health so yes, it scares me especially after reading about people never regaining good health. Nothing I can do now, just hope and pray for the best and that my side-effects won't continue. I can deal with some but was barely able to get out of bed today so continue to have questions.  Thanks again and always welcome any input.
Title: Re: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: andrew j on November 17, 2018, 10:45:40 pm
Are you drinking plenty of water - and eating OK?
Title: Re: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: Lynn K on November 18, 2018, 12:16:40 am
If you continue to have those symptoms I would contact your doctor. Those could be symptoms of a lot of things you should probably get checked out if you don’t feel better.
Title: Re: Just starting Harvoni
Post by: Hogan1956 on November 19, 2018, 11:01:56 pm
Hello ruby78,
I want to wish you the best of luck on your Harvoni treatment, i think i am 1 day behind you on treatment. I completed my 1st week today.
Keep your chin up and keep on keeping on.... that 1st week of february will be upon us before you know it.