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New Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis B

The Food and Drug Administration (USA) had approved Baraclude (entecavir) tablets and oral solution for treating patient with chronic hepatitis B in adults.//

The new medication Baraclude slows down the progress of the disease by interfering with the reproduction of the virus. The drug was approved on the basis of three studies that were conducted to see the effect of the new medication versus another drug called lamivudine. The results of the study show that patients treated with the new drug lowered the liver inflammation caused by the virus and improved the condition of liver fibrosis. More patients treated with Baraclude showed much improvement in comparison to lamivudine.

Chronic hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver. The virus affects the liver and may cause long term damage like cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. The virus may make the patient infected for a lifetime, with much recurrence of the symptoms.

The side effects of the treatment with Baraclude may be headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and dizziness. The patients may need to be monitored for some time after treatment to check the recurrence of the illness.

Reference: Food and Drug Administration, US, News Release, May 2005

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