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Hepatitis C Virus could help stop replication if taking Statin Drugs along with Interferon

July 6th, 2006

Hepatitis C Virus could help stop replication if taking Statin Drugs along with Interferon

Hepatitis C Virus

A study recently published in the July 2006 issue of Hepatology, found that taking cholesterol lowering statins could help slow down the replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV).  The standard treatment today is to use ribavirin along with interferon.  With these new findings statins may be an alternative treatment that could replace ribavirin in the current therapy.

Hepatitis C virus infects has infected around 170 million people worldwide.  The current therapy with interferon and ribavirin which will only help around 55 percent of the cases the remaining cases can develop cirrhosis and liver cancer.


Scientists at Masanori Ikeda of Okayama University in Japan found that one statins worked.  The statins were able to hinder the reproduction of the HCV.  There was other statins tested and all except for one was able to inhibit the spread of the HCV infection.

The statins tested were atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin.  Pravastatin did help slow down the HCV replication.  Fluvastatin seemed to work best in the group.  Atorvastatin and simvastatin were rated as having a moderate effect on the HCV.  The lovastatin had a weak effect on HCV replication.  The pravastatin showed no anti-HCV activity. However the pravastatin did inhibit HMG-CoA reductase.

The statins were not able to kill the host cell.  The authors of the study report, "the statins possess the ability to inhibit the replication of HCV RNA via a specific antiviral mechanism."


The researchers further tested a combined treatment of statins with interferon.  When the statins were combined with interferon, the results were even more beneficial at slowing down the HCV replication.  Pravastatin did not show benefit.  Fluvastatin along with interferon showed the strongest effect.

"We clearly demonstrated that co-treatment of interferon and fluvastatin was an overwhelmingly effective treatment," said the authors of the study.

"Statins are good reagents for combination therapy with interferon in patients with chronic hepatitis C," concluded the authors. "Furthermore, our developed OR6 assay system will be useful for the time-saving screening of new anti-HCV reagents."

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

Books on Hepatitis C Virus

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:47 PM