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Novel therapy combinations gain ground in treating hepatitis

ies which will evaluate the ability of VX-950 to produce sustained viral responses with as little as 12 weeks of therapy." VX-950 + pegIFN + RBV was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events and no treatment discontinuations. A detailed analysis of adverse events will be presented.

Acetaminophen as a co-factor in acute liver failure due to viral hepatitis determined by measurement of acetaminophen-protein adducts [Abstract S1002]

Acetaminophen (APAP) is a common over-the-counter medication present in more than 300 preparations for pain relief and flu-like symptoms. But for people who are suffering from viral hepatitis A or B, use of acetaminophen may play a role in accelerating liver failure, ordinarily a rare complication of viral hepatitis.

Serum samples from 72 patients with proven hepatitis A or B that had progressed to liver failure were tested for APAP adducts, which are the toxic byproducts of acetaminophen liver damage, created when a chemical (in this case, acetaminophen) binds to proteins in the liver that are then released into the blood when cells die. As a positive control group, the team also included 10 documented cases of acute liver failure (ALF) resulting directly from large APAP overdoses.

Results from the examination showed that nine of the 72 patients (12.5 percent) had detectable APAP adducts in their blood, signifying that some of their liver damage was APAP-related. All 10 known APAP-induced ALF cases had positive adducts at much higher levels than those in the viral hepatitis group (average level of 5.58 nmol/mL versus 0.45 nmol/mL, respectively). Two-thirds (67 percent) of the hepatitis patients with APAP adducts died within three weeks of study admission, compared to only 27 percent of hepatitis patients without adducts.

Most of the patients with adducts reported some APAP use in the days prior to the study, but none reported doses exceeding four grams per day. Flu-like symptoms,
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Source:American Gastroenterological Association


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