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Feature Article

Eliminating hepatitis C: Part 2. Assessing your patient for antiviral treatment

CHLOE LAYTON, JACQUI RICHMOND, David Baker, LOUISE OWEN, GAIL MATTHEWS, ERIN OLIVER-LANDRY, Jessica Howell, JOSEPH DOYLE

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© SCIENCE SOURCE/MONICA SCHROEDER/DIOMEDIA.COM
© SCIENCE SOURCE/MONICA SCHROEDER/DIOMEDIA.COM

Abstract

As soon as a patient is diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, preparations can begin for treatment with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). Most patients can receive DAA treatment in general practice. GPs are ideally placed to assess their patients in preparation for DAA treatment and to identify the minority who require specialist referral.

Key Points

  • Most patients with hepatitis C can be treated with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in general practice.
  • GPs are ideally placed to assess patients in preparation for DAA treatment.
  • Pretreatment assessment includes a comprehensive medical and social history, medication review, physical examination and investigations.
  • Key questions to determine the safety of DAA treatment in primary care concern the presence of cirrhosis, hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype, hepatitis B or HIV coinfection, potential drug interactions, previous HCV treatment and renal function.
  • Patients with cirrhosis, complex comorbidities or who have previously failed DAA treatment should be referred for specialist care.

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© SCIENCE SOURCE/MONICA SCHROEDER/DIOMEDIA.COM
© SCIENCE SOURCE/MONICA SCHROEDER/DIOMEDIA.COM